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Shipping Fraud Up 391% In One Year

Published: November 26, 2020 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.

A TransUnion report found an astounding 391% jump in shipping fraud from 2018 to 2019. And during these uncertain times, much of the world is relying on shipping for survival and other needs. It doesn’t help to know that hackers are waiting to take advantage of the current coronavirus situation, but they are. They promise to send the goods you ordered and paid for––but they never do. What they will do is take your money and try to steal your identity. With an almost 4-fold increase in shipping fraud in one year, we can only guess what numbers this pandemic will bring to 2020.

The report, “Global E-Commerce in 2020,” finds shipping fraud is another thriving attack vector in our e-commerce world. It also shows the growth of this crime goes hand-in-hand with a 347% explosion of e-commerce account takeovers during the same year. It finds “The growth in e-commerce has led to a dramatic increase in shipping fraud, with more fraud rings accessing customer accounts and email accounts to track and redirect in-transit shipments before delivery.”

The scarcity of certain products is forcing consumers to trust obscure online merchants. The E-Commerce Times reports that e-commerce titan Amazon can’t keep up with the current demands to verify new seller accounts. With the goal of keeping the vulnerability of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) at a minimum, there are steps users can take to help mitigate shipping fraud and identity theft.

  • Make online purchases on a home computer whenever possible. Unless you have a mobile device with a VPN (Virtual Private Network), mobile devices are more vulnerable to hacking when used on public WiFi than a home network.

  • Make sure the website you visit is the real thing and not a scam. Type the web address in yourself and never follow links to websites in emails and texts.

  • Bookmark trusted websites to make it easier to reach and avoid making typing mistakes in the web address. There are typosquatters out there who create lookalike web pages based on common misspellings of website names.

  • Check seller reviews before making a purchase. User comments can warn about risky sellers and shipping fraud.

  • Make passwords strong and unique and use 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) when available.

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