Internet scam continues to be a major issue, as 10% of the online UK populations are being victim

The problem of online fraud has led to eight per cent of victims believing that they will never receive all of their money back.

The figure has doubled over the last 18 months, research by VeriSign Authentication, now part of Symantec, found that British adults are losing almost twice as much money to online fraud in comparison with six months ago.

Although the number of fraud victims remained stable, with ten per cent of the online UK population suffering at the hands of cyber criminals in the last 12 months, the average amount lost to online fraud now stands at £697 per victim, compared with an average of £352 in March 2010.

“Some companies do insurance against fraud and identity theft but you need to read the small print. But they are looking for added credit facilities and they know that the customers are willing to pay for it.

Research Online Fraud 

The research in the online fraud barometer also found that the number of people claiming only to shop from ‘safe sites' has fallen from 82 per cent to 80 per cent in the last six months.

Cyber criminal activity has evolved and as a result the monetary attraction for compromising a computer to steal banking details has also evolved with this. We're now seeing malicious emails and rogue or compromised websites become more difficult for the average consumer to identity.

Online Shopping

“Online shopping (e-commerce) has become the weak link in the chain, which may explain the increased fraud in this area. Banks absolutely have a role to play in educating customers to be alert to the risks and working with authentic merchants to provide a convenient and secure online shopping customer experience. Educating consumers of the risks and providing the appropriate tools to mitigate against compromised sites is imperative.”

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is coming up. That's when online retailers offer specials the Monday after Thanksgiving. 100 million shoppers took part last year. But as people get more comfortable buying online, it's important not to let your guard down against fraud.

Every year, millions of dollars are lost through online shopping fraud. The scams range from fake stores selling bogus merchandise you never receive to getting something different from what you ordered to having your personal information compromised.

"You want to verify a website is secure when you do purchases. That's usually what that lock at the bottom or the https within the browser section of the Internet. You want to make sure that's there before you give your personal information," Jim David of the Better Business Bureau said.

Look for HTTPS at the beginning of the URL. This indicates information you share is being encrypted.

Learn more about how your web browser can protect you from unsecure websites:
• Internet Explorer 8 Safety Features
• Firefox Phishing & Malware Protection
• Apple Safari Security & Privacy Features
• Google Chrome Privacy & Security Settings

How to mark a scam 419

Every day I get at least three different banks emailing me telling me that there has been a change to my online banking details – so I should just visit this web page or download that document.

It makes a change to the banks telling me that their security systems have been updated or someone has withdrawn money from my account, but not much of one. Particularly seen as these generally aren’t the bunch I actually bank with.

419 scammers are also fairly present in this – when they aren’t telling you they want to smuggle money out of their country they are congratulating you for winning a contest you never actually entered.

I know we laugh at herbalists who sell “penis cream” but some of this spam is the exact same stuff – being marketed by Eastern Europeans to Americans. Somehow we get caught in the crossfire.

Which brings me to the following: Never trust an unexpected email or SMS. Scammers want your banking details, and spammers want to verify your email address. If you didn’t know you were going to get it, and it wants you to do something, don’t.

Anchorage con victims track down accused scammer

An Anchorage man scammed into buying phony concert tickets on Craigslist decided he wanted to do more than file a police report.
Police say he advertised and found two other victims, and together they tracked down a suspect who has been arrested on forgery and theft charges.

"You better be careful who you defraud using the Internet," said Lt. Dave Parker, "because they might be more Internet savvy than you are."

The original victim paid $50 for a ticket last month to a concert by the band Daughtry. The ticket was bogus, Parker said.

The man went back to Craigslist, an online site offering free classified advertising, seeking others who had been ripped off. Two men responded.

Police arrested 21-year-old Shanda Barlow on Oct. 21.

She's charged with three counts of forgery and three counts of theft by deception. She also had an outstanding warrant for $10,000, putting her bail at $15,000. She was not in custody Wednesday. A message left with the public defender's office was not immediately returned.

Police say there may be additional victims and are asking them to call investigators.

Internet users recommend to stay watchful in order to avoid scammers

The Western Cape Police’s Commercial Crimes Unit on Tuesday said far too many people are still being duped by internet scams.

The Hawks warned criminals are continuously adjusting their modus operandi, making it difficult for unsuspecting consumers to stay a step ahead of con artists.

Police have reminded members of the public they need to be more vigilant when sharing personal information.

The police’s Jerome Hardenberg said the type of fraud involving cloned bank cards and internet banking fraud is expected to rise ahead of the festive season.

Police have arrested several suspects since the start of the year. On Monday two Chinese nationals were apprehended in Kraaifontein for being in possession of equipment used to produce cloned bank cards.

Officers hope to make more arrests in the coming month.

Using e- business potential to reduce Internet fraud in Nigeria

The need to expose Nigerians to legitimate job opportunities on Internet has been stressed by Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) at its maiden exhibition of business proposals on Internet for Jobs (I4J) Initiative in Lagos.

The foremost Internet body in the country last Friday commenced its search for Nigerians, mostly youths, who possessed e-business concepts. It expressed its readiness to extend N1 million grant to each of the shortlisted candidates.

Event Sponsor 

The event was sponsored by Multi-Links. NIG said with the promotion of e- business and e-government, I4J aims at creating jobs for software programmers, webmasters, database managers, marketers and others in related fields and in addition to growing the business of Internet Service Providers, e-payment companies, cybercaf├ęs among others, who are employers of Information Technology (IT) personnel.

The former ATCON and NIG president argued that there is no need for anyone to be involved in Internet fraud. “Those who created Google and Yahoo are youths. Nigerians have what its takes to beat their counterparts to innovation anywhere in the world.”

Having assessed the quality of presentations at the event, Banjo advised youths to sharpen their ICT skills to meet the innovative standard that can lure investors to support them. The Chief Executive of Disk Engineering Communications, who doubles at the chairman of e-Business arm of NIG noted that Nigerians have the potentials to rule the world in ICT and hereby tasked the youth on thoroughness.

“This event is not about coming here to listen to tales from people, who believe we out to provide them with net to catch fish at the lagoon. We are concerned about the need to encourage those who have ideals and are propelled to do legitimate business on net. For those who want to play the oratory ostrich, they may as well look elsewhere. Certainly this is a worthy cause and we are for it” Banjo said.