Inspiring Consumer Confidence: Know the scams
Shopping online offers immediate gratification for customers looking for ease and convenience - especially during the holidays. But just as e-commerce is growing year after year, your customers are also growing increasingly wary of Internet scams. By educating customers on the latest scams, and establishing your site as a trustworthy business, you can help inspire your potential customers to shop at your site with confidence.
Common Internet scams
Phishing - Describes the act of tricking users into surrendering valuable personal data via social engineering, e.g., sending an email pretending to be a legitimate business and asking users to log in to an imposter site.
FACT : According to the Anti-Phishing Work Group Phishing Activity Trends Report of August 2005 (see http://www.antiphishing.org/ ), nearly 85% of all attacks target financial services companies—resulting in identity theft and financial loss.
HOW CONSUMERS CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES: Legitimate merchants will never ask for personal information by email. Look to make sure the sender's email address is from the proclaimed company.
Spoofing - Creates an alias Web site that by all appearances is a trusted, well-known business. Attacks are most often initiated when responding to a fraudulent email with hoax urls.
FACT : In 2004, the FBI reported about 30 hoax attacks per day with many more going undetected.
HOW CONSUMERS CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES: It's best for consumers to open the Web browser and then type the URL in the address bar themselves.
ID Fraud — Begins when a consumer releases personal information as a result of phishing or spoofing and crooks assume his or her identity to get loans, medical care and more.
FACT : CNN Money revealed in August 2005 (see http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/22/pf/idtheft_0509/ ) the growing problem of identity theft—crooks steal a whopping $50 billion annually.
HOW CONSUMERS CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES: Consumers should always check for a recognized security seal such as the VeriSign Secured™ Seal. To report identity theft, they should go here .
Spyware — Describes software that takes over partial control of your computer without your knowledge in order to monitor and steal valuable information.
FACT : Webroot's 2005 SpyAudit survey (see www.webroot.com/stateofspyware ) showed spyware may reside on as many as 90% of Internet-connected computers.
HOW CONSUMERS CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES: Advise consumers not to download or open email attachments from people they don't know.
For more information on these Internet scams and other safety tips for shopping online from VeriSign, please visit VeriSign Secured.
To file a complaint or report a scam with the Internet Fraud Complain Center, please click here .