Security Blog

'Tis the Season for Online Sales Fraud

According to GFI Software, online retailers have more to worry about this holiday shopping season than making sure their servers can handle the cheerful throngs of shoppers hitting their online store fronts. A relatively new approach being used by online criminals is to attempt to defraud online retailers themselves rather than the shoppers that are making online purchases.

GFI senior threat researcher Christopher Boyd outlines the scheme in blog post, explaining that the ruse requires use of a receipt generator program that can create uncannily realistic sales receipts. So what can these online scammers do once they have a forged sales receipt in hand? Boyd explains:

"Well, many sellers on Amazon will ask you to send them a copy of your receipt should you run into trouble, have orders go missing, lose your license key for a piece of software and so on. The gag here is that the scammer is relying on the seller not checking the details and accepting the printout at face value."

Like many online scams, this one pins its hopes on harried or poorly-trained customer service personnel that may not examine the receipts closely enough. Boyd points out several ways for retailers to spot forgeries, and cautions online retailers to pay extra attention to customer exchanges and refunds that seem to be missing key information.

So are you taking any extra security precautions with your online shopping this time of year? Send me an email or add a comment to this blog post with your thoughts.

Follow Jeff James on Twitter at @jeffjames3

Follow Windows IT Pro on Twitter at @windowsitpro

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