New types of fraud are emerging all the time and it is not surprising that most of it is conducted online. Cyber criminals are able to be not seen or heard and can carry on their illegal operations undetected.

Law enforcers in most countries have special teams dedicated to cybercrime, but it is a long and tedious process and is very often not worth their while pursuing.

Prevention is therefore better than cure and making yourself aware of the different methods these criminals implement can help stop it happening to you.

There are five main types of internet fraud:

Identity Theft

This is otherwise known as payment fraud and is the major type of e-commerce deception. This type of scam doesn’t deal with stolen cards per se. Instead it uses IP addresses, email accounts, postal addresses and the devices you use.

Fraudulent online purchases are just the start of it. This type of scammer can create fake accounts and manipulate traffic through if they manage to hack into a major

Friendly fraud

This might seem strange using “friendly” and “fraud” in the same sentence. This can happen purposefully or by mistake. It means that the buyer pays for a service or product and then claims they have never received it or that it arrived damaged. If you are selling something on one of the major online sites such as eBay, you could fall victim to this type of scam.

If you own a small business and rely on the internet for your bread and butter, then you might have to go as far as going down the chargeback route. This can be extremely time consuming and frustrating. To avoid this, make sure you use a reputable courier service and have each delivery signed for. Make sure you see if the buyer’s star rating before going ahead with the transaction. Friendly fraud can occur by design or by mistake.

Clean fraud

Once again using these two words together seems paradoxical. Unfortunately this is happening more and more as scammers take on this type of illegal online activity with great success.

Clean fraud means that the cyber crook is using a stolen credit card and the transaction isn’t flagged up. This is because the scammer will have all your personal details on hand, including the three-digit security number on the back of the card.

If your card is stolen and you haven’t reported it then it can be used with wild abandon by the thief. Convincing a retailer to issue a chargeback can be challenging as the onus is with you to have the card blocked.

Fake Sites

It is so easy to create a website these days and fraudsters have been quick on the uptake. Fake sites entail the con-artists enticing people to buy a service or product, which doesn’t exist.

This way they are able to obtain all your details, which they then either use themselves or sell your information on the dark web. When you buy anything on the internet do your homework on the merchant before clicking the checkout button. A reputable online merchant will have contact details such as address and a telephone number. If you are in doubt, call first to make sure that it is a bona fid company.

Phishing

Phishing is a cybercrime targeting you through emails, phone calls and text messages. On the face of it these appear to be from a legitimate company or organisation. It is aimed at getting you to part with sensitive data such as your personally identifiable information, passwords and banking or credit card details.

Think twice before responding to or clicking on any link that could leave you vulnerable to a phishing attack.