Halloween and the Spooky Scams – How identity verification helps?
Halloween is just around the corner and so do the scammers ready to exploit the opportunity. Which possible tactics can fraudsters use? Which businesses are on target?
This blog covers major Halloween scams and how industries can integrate identity verification services to secure their business.
October is a spooky month. The ghosts, zombies, and werewolves are scary but real-world monsters are even scarier. Scammers never take a break and during Halloween and holiday season they get even more active. The monsters are lurking in the shadows to scam individuals and businesses through spooky tricks on social media, eCommerce platforms and other digital channels. Identity verification solution is the need of the hour for businesses to combat these frauds.
6 scams to watch out this Halloween
The shipping scam
Every year around October, the internet is full of Halloween-themed stores and promotions. These online stores showcase quite attractive costumes, decorations, accessories and offer impressive promotions and discounts. But this is just a trap, not all the sites are authentic and most of the time the products uploaded on these stores don’t even exist. The retailers owning such sites will never deliver the ordered items.
Such stores, even if they exist, have no intention of shipping goods. Sometimes, the order is cancelled from the retailer’s side without any notification, or the delivery date is postponed for weeks until after Halloween. Moreover, some incidents have been reported in the past where the buyers received empty packages. All these tactics are of shipping scams. Though shipping scams exist all around the year, during Halloween, Black Friday and Christmas the number increases.
Shoppers need to be careful while purchasing items online. The best practice is to look out for the store’s phone number, physical address and their return policies just in case things go out of hands. Most importantly, be careful while giving your credit card information to online shop. Sometimes, these sites are just there to scrap out users’ credit card information.
The information ghosts
Ghosts don’t only exist in movies and fairytales, the real-world information ghosts aka identity thieves are enough to give you sleepless nights. With events like Halloween approaching near, scammers gear up their phishing game to trick people into giving their personally identifiable information. The malicious activities of these bad guys are not limited to social media only, but every other digital platform is on the hit list of con-artists.
Through various social engineering and phishing techniques, fraudsters fool people into providing their personal and financial information. With Halloween around the corner, one most commonly used tactic is discount coupons and gift vouchers. In order to avail these coupons, individuals are often lured into providing their information, which most of the people happily give in. This stolen information, later on, leads to account takeover frauds, card-not-present frauds and identity theft.
Fraudulent purchases and chargebacks
Among Halloween scams, fraudulent purchases top the list. Scammers use stolen credentials and credit card information to purchase products which result in fraudulent and false chargebacks claims. In such scenarios, the eCommerce site owners have to suffer the major loss. According to the chargeback report, against every one dollar fraud, merchant losses $2.40. Every year this cost increases.
Sometimes, even real customers claim chargebacks after receiving the product to enjoy free products. No matter whatever the case is, the business has to bear the loss.
A ghost rising from the grave
Have you ever seen a ghost? You might not but banks and financial institutions do. Wondering how? Well in the form of deceased identity theft. According to the report, around 2.5 million deceased individuals become a victim of identity theft every year. Moreover, some studies claim that around 800,000 out of these victims are specifically targeted because they passed away.
In most of the cases, the families of the deceased person neglect the need to check up on their credit report and dispose of their social media and bank accounts. Thanks to the publicly available information that it is easy for identity thieves to accomplish their goals. Due to this type of fraud, banks, insurance institutions and credit organisations have to suffer a lot.
The fraudster may take out a loan using the identity of a deceased person and by the time banks figure out the fraud, they have already moved to their next target leaving no trace behind.
The bogus purchase scam
Bogus schemes have been rising for a few years now. In this type of bogus purchase scam, the fraudsters convince individuals that they have bought something which they did not buy. All this is done to get personal information from the customers. Once the customers are convinced to share their data and scammers get hold of information, they can do anything with it. From emptying your bank account and taking out loans in your name to committing heinous crimes using your identity, fraudsters can do anything.
Most of the time, these fraudsters try to imitate the employees of some well-known site so that individuals may find it authentic.
It all goes down to online businesses
With all these scams around the corner, no doubt individuals are badly affected. However, online businesses are the ones that are under continuous threat of digital frauds. Halloween is approaching near and eCommerce platforms and banking institutions are going to face a potential wave of identity frauds. Fraudsters are not going to miss any chance to fulfil their malicious intents. They will target individuals through Halloween-themed scams and businesses will have to suffer the major loss in the form of chargebacks and fraudulent loans and insurances.
Online identity verification to combat Halloween frauds
Frauds always occur because of the negligence and inefficient measures of the organisation in place. Identity theft, card-not-present fraud, chargeback frauds are the result of inefficient identity checks. The traditional verification and authentication checks are not enough to combat identity frauds since stealing credentials are very easy through various phishing and social engineering tactics. Businesses need an advanced solution to identify the fraudsters in the first place and authenticate users before allowing access to services and products.
In the case of chargebacks, the major issue is that e-commerce sites don’t authenticate users at the time of checkout, hence resulting in fraudulent purchases and chargebacks. With a biometric verification solution in place, online retailers can combat identity thieves, since only authorised customers can access the account and make purchases. Moreover, with biometric authentication at the time of checkout, retailers can ensure only real customer is making a purchase. With proof of verification, false and fraudulent chargeback claims can be deterred.
Apart from e-commerce sites, banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and other digital businesses can eliminate the risk of identity fraud including false loans, account takeover fraud, insurance frauds, identity theft, etc. in real-time by incorporating online identity verification solutions.
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