Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) provides resources and information on how to avoid becoming victims of cyber crime. It is important for website users to ignore urgent emails that request personal information such as bank account details, social security numbers or credit card numbers no matter how enticing the emails appear. Delayed responses allow time for verification of the source of the emails.Phisers often use viruses and Trojans to install special programs on computer systems which they later use to access personal information such as passwords. In this respect, it is imperative that the PCs be installed with the anti-virus or the existing version must be updated to repulse such intrusions. In the same breadth, customers must ensure that websites of institutions are authentic before submitting personal information. Organizations use secured portals, and therefore, customers should be cautious as some phishers forge protocols to deceive web users. Moreover, users should report to the authorities, the respective financial institutions, and credit bureaus to avoid liabilities that could arise out of unauthorized transactions.
Recommendations of the Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers examples of the messages that scammers send to obtain personal information. These messages often require the recipients to update some information on their bank accounts, credit cards, or social security numbers.FTC advises that such messages should be immediately deleted as the financial institutions do ask for such information on email. Also, the web users must not click unfamiliar links sent to email accounts nor make attempts to contact the source through the telephone.FTC reinforces APWG position that customers should take precautionary measures by ensuring that their systems are protected using prescribed internet security safeguards. Furthermore, phishing emails should be reported to the relevant authorities for further investigation.
eBay requires customers to channel payments through their systems as a mechanism for easy resolution of disputes involving the transactions of product specifications. Through such safeguard, the organization can limit damages on sellers and buyers due to fraudulent activities. Through its system of ranking vendors on a scale, the auction platform engenders product quality as customers transact with sellers of higher credibility and rating. Requirements to make payments through PayPal also make the organization to monitor dishonest intentions (eBay.com)
Making payments to confirmed addresses is also an approach advised to reduce auction fraud. People hiding the mentioned details show little credibility due to goods rejection associated with such individuals. Any attempts to disguise as students should be ignored. The goods should also be shipped when the e-Checks clear to avoid defaults. eBay further advises that both sellers and buyers should be wary of customers who make requests for confidential information during transactions. Any suspicion of fraudulent activity should be reported to eBay and other relevant authorities for further investigations. Customers should also advise fellow users of the fraudulent experiences so as to enlighten them about new fraud tactics (eBay.com).
Email Scam case
A 29-year old man was convicted in the UK of defrauding students 400,000 pounds through a fake website.Olajide Onikoyi sent emails to students in which he made an invitation to update their loan details on a spoofed internet site. Two hundred students responded to the requests and provided confidential details which he used to access their bank accounts (Williams, 2013)
Auction Fraud Case
The case involved the sale of paintings that were forged and auctioned under the name of a reputable company. The fraudster impersonated artwork company dealer, Rothko, to defraud unsuspecting buyers. The bogus artwork from a vendor, Pei-Shen Qian, depicted the rectangular signature-style trademarks that duped many buyers. One company, Domenico De Soles bought an artwork at $8.3 million only to find that the painting was not authentic in 2011, unearthing a scam that had raked in $ 80million worth of fake paintings (Kaplan, 2016)
The cases discussed above are similar in the sense that the fraudsters masqueraded as genuine persons who wanted to help out unsuspecting victims. They employed online tactics to lure their victims to their dragnets at a time when few avenues disseminated information regarding cyber crimes of such nature. Also, the phishers have preyed victims because of the confidence the victims had in the institutions that offered the information they relied on to respond to the scammers' requests. The cases differ on the modes of the fraud. In the students case, the phisher sent links to students, inviting them to update some information on their bank accounts. This way, the scam was aided by the students. On the other hand, the De Soles did not verify the addresses of the sellers of the paintings as this would have revealed the authenticity of the dealers. The buyer made purchases based on the confidence of a company that was well-known in artwork paintings.
FTC recommendations and auction sites measures discussed earlier could have averted the scams. Internet users are advised to ignore emails that invite them to update personal information, especially relating to credit cards or bank accounts. This is because financial institutions do not require customers to update confidential information online. The paintings scandal could be thwarted should the buyers have taken the initiative of verifying the addresses of the customers before remitting the money as the organization that engaged in the fraud was not nonexistent. Verifying the addresses would give the buyer the location, the period the selling company had been operational, among other details.
Kaplan, M. (2016). Inside the $80M scam that rocked the art world and hits courts this week. New York Post.
Williams, J. (2013). 'Phishing' fraudster jailed for 1.5m student loan scam. Manchester Evening News.
Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles, Coupons and More | eBay. Ebay.com. Retrieved 5 July 2016, from http://www.eBay.com
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