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Bad Luck has Nothing to Do With Fraud

2022 05 13 bad luck fraud friday 13th
Who moved my cheese?

Have you ever walked out of your apartment looking for your car to find it stolen overnight? Or turned your back and got distracted when drawing money at an ATM to realise the three people standing next to you left with your card and your funds? Do you know that little voice, the inkling feeling that something is wrong, while a seemingly presentable person explains all the astronomical benefits of parting with your life savings to get rich quickly? That little voice is shouting “You’ve been had, conned, scammed, you dumb ass”. 

Let me tell you it’s scarier than Friday the 13th when that penny drops. Well, what’s left of the penny anyhow. But were you that dumb? Or are the cons just more clever or sophisticated than what you are? Were you just plain unlucky? Is your new best friend The Tinder Swindler, a Bad Vegan or Anna Delvey?

Just don’t do it

Luck has nothing to do with it. These schemes and cons are carefully crafted to exploit one of the most human traits in the world. Greed. Forbes recently published an article on investment fraud. Many investors have lost money because the market suddenly turned bullish or bearish, they invested at the wrong time or used a misleading analysis. According to Forbes, any investor should see red flags when investments promise that they will get rich quickly, make astronomical returns if they jump in early enough (Ponzi schemes), receive above-average interest rates, and if they act immediately. These schemes are as old as money is and relatively easy to spot compared to some of the more modern cons that use technology-related subterfuge. 

A review published by the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies talks about ‘scampreneurs’ to describe sophisticated criminals who run various complicated fraud schemes. The Review describes a wide range of techniques used to commit fraud and divides them into four areas: victim selection techniques, perpetration strategies, detection avoiding strategies and securing gains. 

Victim selection techniques use both open and illicit sources of information to find their victims. Marketing lists, directories and so-called ‘sucker’ lists of people who have fallen victim to fraud are just a couple of fishing grounds for criminals.  

Preparation strategies vary according to the type of fraud. Some of them include technology, business techniques, sales techniques and asking for small sums of money to register for a service. 

Some of the most relevant types of fraud in the payments industry are identity theft and counterfeit cards. According to the Home Office Identity Fraud Steering Committee: 

“…identity fraud involves the use of an individual or company’s identity information to open accounts, fraudulently obtain social security benefits, apply for and/or obtain goods and services.” 

Here’s a summary of types of identity theft from the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies Review. 

  • Lost or stolen cards or documents: fraudsters get hold of your cards or identity documents and use them to go on a shopping spree 
  • Card-not-present: somebody hacks your card information (account number, expiry date and security code) and uses it to commit online fraud
  • Counterfeit cards and documents: somebody copies your identity documents and uses them to conduct business in your name 
  • Account takeovers: a fraudster takes over your accounts and uses the available money 
  • New accounts and loans: somebody creates an account, secures a loan or applies for a credit card under your name
  • Identity theft: somebody becomes you and takes over your identity completely 

Have a look at their Review for a more in-depth analysis of different types of fraud and some insightful observations on victimology. 

In today’s world, where it’s sometimes harder to hang on to money than to make it, you can’t be too careful when picking a payment provider. Truevo complies with PCI DSS standards and enforces SCA (Strong Customer Authentication) compliant solutions via 3D secure v2 protocols in all of our products, meaning your ecommerce transactions are protected with the latest online authentication. If you aren’t a Truevo merchant already, speak to us. We can’t wait to transact securely with you. Apple Pay now available.

Barbara Zamponi
Barbara Zamponi
Chief Risk Officer at Truevo Payments
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Disclaimer: This content has been written for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or business advice.

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