2007 set to smash online fraud records

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Although the peak shopping days for this year are still ahead, 2007 is poised to set records with online sales set to top US$30 billion for the season. Yet experts are also warning that fraud rates, expected to increase by 20 percent, are also on track for record highs..

Fraud expert Ori Eisen, founder and chief innovation officer of The 41st Parameter, believes tha the main reason why cyber crooks are more active over the holiday period is because they know that most fraud will not be detected by the ecommerce sites until 30 or even 45 days after it has occurred when victims receive their post holiday credit card statements.

Adding to these concerns, the latest trends signal an increase in the complexity of scams that elude even savvy consumers and corporate fraud departments.

These include rerouting schemes, which taka advantage of the fact that during the holidays, organisations are more lenient about shipping to alternate names and addresses, since this is the most common purchase pattern at this time of year.

Other scams include new account creation using stolen info - once a new account is established on an online merchant's site, items are purchased to be shipped as gifts exploiting holiday patterns and leniency so the mailing address need not match the card holders. And fraudulent gift cards - where crooks load gift cards with funds from the victim's card and shop freely either online or at the actual store.

"Most studies show that this year's online shoppers expect their transactions to be protected by banks and online merchants," said Eisen. "This is quite concerning to me, because there are many financial institutions and online merchants who are under prepared for current fraud schemes."

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