Protect yourself from these Bank of America, eBay, and PayPal Scams: Internet ScamBusters #50
By Audri and Jim Lanford
Copyright © Audri and Jim Lanford
This month we’re going to share some very chilling statistics about online fraud with you and provide an update on identity theft (including telling you about an eBay scam that has nothing to do with online auctions).
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As you know, we do Internet ScamBusters as a public service, and these offers help pay a small portion of the expenses to publish the #1 publication on Internet fraud.
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Internet ScamBusters Snippets
Online Customers and Merchants Lose Huge Amounts to Fraud
In 2001, 5.2% of online consumers fell victim to credit card fraud, according to a recent survey by GartnerG2. Online merchants lost a staggering $700 million to fraud in 2001 – over 1% of total annual online sales. Online fraud losses were 19 times as high as offline fraud, according to the study.
Excellent Article on Internet Fraud
One of the best recent articles we’ve seen on Internet fraud appeared in the New York Times Week in Review. The article was written by Sam Lubell, and you’ll find Internet ScamBusters referred to in the article.
(You’ll need to register to read this article – it is free to register.)
Identity Theft – Avoid These New Scams
Identity theft may be as old as Internet commerce, but crooks still come up with new ways to trick unsuspecting people into giving out sensitive personal information like credit card or Social Security numbers. Here’s a look at three of the latest scams.
1. Bank of America Scam
The scam: Someone posing as a Bank of America associate sent out a fraudulent email asking BoA customers to enter personal financial information on a fake Web site posing as a BoA Web site. Fortunately, the bank became aware of this email within hours, and authorities quickly shut the scam site down.
The truth: Like most banks, BoA does not contact customers out of the blue to verify personal financial information. You may be asked to verify such information if you call the bank about your banking matters.
What to do: If someone – anyone – contacts you by phone or email, asking you for sensitive personal information, be very wary. Contact the company they claim to represent directly, using a phone number or email address from the company’s Web site, and confirm the story. Never be in a rush to give out your information until you know it’s safe.
2. eBay Scam
The scam: You receive an email stating that your order has been completed and mailed, and that your credit card has been charged for your purchase. Of course, you have not bid on or won the auction for the item in the email. To cancel the order, you are instructed to visit a Web site and enter your account information and Social Security Number. The scammer uses this dummy Web site to steal your information.
The truth: eBay never asks its registered users for their personal information by email, and it makes this point very clear on its Web site and discussion boards.
What to do: If you receive an odd request that looks like it comes from eBay, contact their Safe Harbor, which has departments dedicated to fraud protection, fraud prevention, and investigations.
Visit Ebay Community Help
3. PayPal Scam
The scam: You have a PayPal account. You receive an email that promises you a small payment if you visit the Web site and update your account (including, of course, your credit card information). The cited Web site is fraudulent, and the scammer steals your information.
The truth: PayPal representatives will never ask users for their password or other sensitive information.
What to do: As PayPal’s Security Tips note, "The only site you should ever type your username and password into is at www.paypal.com." If you receive suspicious emails, never click any Web site links they contain.
Visit Paypal Fraud Prevention