Warning Signs of Online Fraud
Are you doing everything possible to protect your company from online fraud? There are various steps you can take to prevent cybercriminals from stealing money and identities. Here are some of the red flags to watch out for:
- Fake phone numbers
Scammers now can make phone numbers that use the same area code as legit companies. That’s due to various technologies including Voice over IP (VoIP). If you have any question marks always call back a phone number to verify that the number is legitimate. Taking this basic step can help to avoid a lot of possible problems, which is a plus.
- The company’s registration location
Do some research to find out where the customer’s site was registered. If the company isn’t a multi-national one then it wouldn’t make sense if the company was registered in a foreign country. This is a basic step yet is definitely worthwhile as it can be a red flag for a company that’s phony.
- Bad English grammar/vocabulary
This isn’t to say that broken English is an automatic sign that the customer is a scammer. That said, it should be noted that many online scams originate in countries where English isn’t the first language spoken.
It’s also important to note that many scamming operations are set up in non-English speaking countries like a legit company. There are many cases when the “company” in a developing country is running a scam that involves stealing the finances/identities of people in developed countries.
- E-mail address doesn’t match ordering company
Be careful when the contact e-mail address doesn’t match up with the company that’s placing the order. You should also watch out for variations in the domain name of common domains. Sometimes there will be an extra dash or another symbol that many people won’t catch at a glance. Taking this basic step will make it easier for you to catch many scammers.
- Watch out for fast shipping demands
Fraudsters will often demand that their shipments be sent faster. The reason is they want to get the product and disappear before your company or other parties involve have detected the fraud.
Again, this doesn’t mean that all requests for faster shipping are signs of fraud. However, if the customer has already picked express shipping then it’s a red flag if they want the shipping done even faster.
- Use Google Maps to check physical addresses
This is a great way to check if a company is indeed placing an order. For example, let’s say that the customer is supposedly a big company. If the shipping address is a residential address it’s a red flag that it could be a scam.
- Check the domain’s age
If a company provides a domain do some research to find out when it was registered. Sometimes fraudsters will make a fake website to make it look the company has been operating for several years. However, in fact, it was just set up to run the scam, so make sure to do some research to find out whether or not the site is a fly-by-night one.