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Halloween is one of the most awaited and celebrated events in a large number of countries across the globe. As the event comes closer, e-commerce platforms get a great opportunity to do business as excited people turn towards them to buy Halloween-related stuff. It is estimated that in 2021, Halloween spending touched $10.14 billion, which is a 26.25% increase as compared to the previous year. Due to rapid digitization, users prefer digital stores for shopping instead of visiting on-site places. Although this advanced trend has created a lot of ease for customers, it is also accompanied by the risks of identity theft and other financial crimes.
Halloween has become a favourite event for cybercriminals to get involved in a myriad of monetary scams while inflicting huge losses on customers. Every year, Halloween scams are increasing unprecedentedly, raising alarms for global law enforcement authorities. Although e-commerce stores have advanced security measures, criminals are using sophisticated techniques to carry out heinous crimes depriving users of billion of dollars. Halloween is an entertaining event for people, and criminals must be discouraged by incorporating effective identity verification measures.
Rising Threats of Identity Theft During Halloween Time
Identity theft has become a nightmare for law enforcement agencies in all countries, and governments are working tirelessly to find relevant solutions to curb this menace. During events like Halloween, where people enjoy themselves through various entertaining activities, cybercriminals plan malicious activities to carry out their illicit motives. Customers usually remain busy in their activities while ignoring warning messages on their cell phones and emails, which ultimately aids criminals to leave the system without any trail.
Multiple types of scams are associated with the Halloween festival, including shipping fraud, bogus purchases, information ghosts, and many others. The global regulatory authorities have warned e-commerce stores and users to take more preventive measures while doing online shopping on special occasions. One of the most frequently used tactics by fraudsters is providing attractive offers like discounts and coupons, where users usually end up losing their money and sensitive details. Once the scammers successfully get customers’ identities, they can use this information to carry out many scams like bank account fraud, credit card scams, and account takeovers.
Most Common Digital Scams Linked to Halloween Season
With emerging technologies and rapid digitization, cybercriminals are finding more advanced methods of defrauding the system while carrying out identity theft, money laundering, and other financial crimes. Special occasions like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter give these criminals more opportunities to commit fraudulent activities due to increased online transactions.
Let’s have a look at some of the crimes which are quite prevalent during the Halloween season:
This is one of the most frequently used techniques by criminals to defraud users. They offer several attractive offers, bonuses, and coupons, convincing customers to use their services. Once the users input their details to avail of the packages offered by the service providers, they end up losing their sensitive details like credit card or bank account number. By using these details, scammers can take over other online accounts, costing them their valuable assets.
Credit Card Scams
Credit card fraud is highly prevalent nowadays, costing users $32 billion in 2021 alone. The event of Halloween is also associated with a large number of crimes linked to credit cards. The criminals use fake and stolen credit card details to purchase various items in e-commerce stores and, soon after making the order, apply for chargebacks. In this way, the service provider does not get any payment despite delivering the product to the customers.
Bogus Shopping Platforms
On occasions like Halloween, when users shift towards online purchases and perform a high number of online transactions, criminals find it as an opportunity to carry out fraudulent activities. Many scammers create fake online stores listing various relevant products and selling them at discounted rates. When customers order the products and make payments, they vanish away without leaving any trail behind.
Fake Ticket Fraud
Halloween is full of entertainment and a large number of users plan to visit amusement parks, concerts, or other events. The criminals take advantage of the situation through fake advertisements of such shows and selling advance tickets. After successfully collecting money from the users, they get away, and customers end up losing their money.
The Role of Law Enforcement Authorities in Curbing Halloween Fraud
Halloween fraud has become quite prevalent, which is actually deteriorating the whole users’ experience and causing a lot of financial losses. This is the primary reason that law enforcement authorities in several countries are trying to address this challenge by implementing stringent measures.
The USA is among those countries where Halloween is celebrated with huge enthusiasm, and people try to participate in the event with the best preparations. In the past few years, US law enforcement authorities witnessed a large number of online fraud and criminal activities on the system, which has urged them to take decisive action against the perpetrators. The government has registered several cases against all those trying to exploit the online platforms on Halloween day. Moreover, they have also issued detailed instructions for the common people to remain cautious in their remote shopping, especially on special occasions.
The UK government has proposed the Online Safety Bill, which has all the provisions related to digital fraud in e-commerce stores. Law enforcement authorities have warned the citizens to be aware of increasing criminal activities on special occasions like Halloween. Moreover, the cybercrime department is also monitoring all the digital transactions on e-commerce stores to counter criminals.
Securing Halloween Festival Through Identity Verification Measures
Occasions like Halloween are a source of entertainment for the common people, and securing these events from cybercriminals is important. The general trend is that the bad actors steal the identities of sophisticated users and use these details to onboard the system while carrying out fraudulent activities. So in such a situation, it is crucial to implement robust identity verification measures that verify the true identities of users and report suspicious activities. Implementing an efficient Know Your Customer (KYC) solution will restrict criminals while making Halloween a safe and entertaining event for people.
Identity theft is one of the prominent issues in the digital world, and businesses must address this challenge to ensure transparency, especially on special occasions like Halloween. It is in the higher interest of users and companies to invest in identity verification measures while curbing financial losses.
Shufti Pro’s state-of-the-art KYC measures are the most viable option for e-commerce stores to secure the identities of their users during Halloween. Powered by an AI algorithm, Shufti Pro’s KYC solution screen customers’ details against their documents and provide results in seconds with a ~99% accuracy.
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