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Posts Tagged ‘fraud’

Has the Recession Led to an Increase of Online Fraud?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Unemployment is officially around 10% (and there are estimates that the real unemployment is likely 20%).  It is likely that we’ll see this high level of unemployment for the next few years.  Does the recession and unemployment pose a threat to online security?

There have been a few articles linking the recession to an increase of online fraud.  Most of them are anecdotal (citing some instances of shoppers being scammed online), or bad math (saying that claims of online crime have gone up in 2008 and 2009 — forgetting that online shopping grew in those years as well).

The logic makes sense — that desperate times bring out the worst in people.  Cutting in favor of the argument is that it has never been easier to set up a website and start a (fraudulent) business.  The other way to look at it is that with individuals becoming more savvy online, fraudsters will have to be more sophisticated in their criminal activities (making it more unlikely that the newly unemployed just start committing online fraud).

Right now the jury seems to be out, but feel free to share your thoughts (or some conclusive studies on the link between online fraud and the recession).

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Posts Tagged ‘fraud’

How Did My Credit Card Go To Europe Before I Could?

Monday, April 12th, 2010

A few weeks ago, I’m standing in line at Chipotle, ready to pay.  The cashier runs my card several times, each indicating a decline.  It’s getting embarrassing because not only am I holding up the line, but my friends now think I can’t afford a $6 burrito. 

In a twist of fate, I actually had cash on hand, so I paid and returned to my seat in shame.  Let me reassure everyone that I can afford a $6 burrito…in fact I can afford up to seven $6 burritos (hopefully I’ve laid that terrible rumor to rest).  The lunch banter steers away from me (which is always painful), so I’m sitting there pretending to listen while I try to remember if I paid my credit card bill.  I secretly used my iPhone and logged into my credit card site.  Everything looks good.  What the hell is going on?!

I then spend the entire Saturday working my way through several unhelpful menus and operators — and I finally reach someone from the fraud department.  I must answer a battery of questions to prove I’m truly Dojo Mike.  Then the gentlemen says “let me run through a few recent transactions”

Me: Ok

Credit Card:  Did you recently purchase $40 at [online company withheld]

Me: Yep

Credit Card:  How about $7,000 in Milan?

Me: Italy?

CC: Yes.

Me: Uh no.

Appears that I had made an online purchase that wasn’t secure.  Now a couple copies of my credit card were on an extended European vacation — spending a lot of time (and money) in Italy.  I had to cancel the card and put fraud alerts on my credit report for all three credit bureaus.  I’m also “encouraged” by the credit card company to monitor my bank accounts and online investments. 

I know online shopping is very convenient, but when security comes into question, the ill-prepared businesses can cause their shoppers quite a few headaches (and liabilities).  Clearly this is related to KikScore (as all online sites should use it to help prevent similar issues for their customers), but this truly did happen to me — and I’ll never shop at that online store again.  I’m also jealous that my credit card was able to enjoy Italy before me.

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