HomeBusiness & FinanceHoliday shopping habit to put you at a major risk of fraud and scam

Holiday shopping habit to put you at a major risk of fraud and scam

Holiday shopping habit to put you at a major risk of fraud and scam

All the holidays are supposed to be fun with delicious food, family and friends, but scam artists can ruin all that comfort and joy.

But security analysts say they should be thinking about the topic of fraud.

It is soon to be the season for shopping, and a study by Riskified, an Artificial intelligence-driven e-commerce fraud management platform, revealed as the volume of purchases surges during the holiday season, the overall volume of fraud tends to follow suit.

Inflation is likely to have a significant impact on holiday shopping this year, leading merchants to cut their sales forecasts.

But instead of just competing on just low prices, the study said merchants should improve mobile commerce – or mCommerce – and digital payments.

“With almost half of eCommerce holiday sales expected to come from mobile devices and digital payments growing in popularity, it’s more important than ever to provide a safe, seamless path to purchase,” the report said.

A steady decade-long growth of mCommerce is a natural result of the uptick in eCommerce sales, Riskified said, including the pandemic-era boom.

Mobile Shopping Goes Mainstream
When the lockdowns went into effect, people came online in droves to work, study, socialize, and shop – many through mobile devices.

Merchants had to quickly ramp up their digital presence, including mobile-enabled experiences, like contactless payments, in-store pickup, and curbside delivery.

During the pandemic, worldwide mobile shopping via websites and apps increased by an average of nearly 50%.

“Two years on, mCommerce has gone mainstream and is on track to become consumers’ preferred channel,” the report said. “By 2025, retail mCommerce sales should more than double to reach $728.28 billion, accounting for 44.2% of retail eCommerce sales in the U.S.”

Mobile shoppers are not a particularly patient bunch, the report noted, as smartphones and tablets have the highest average cart abandonment rates at 86% and 81%, respectively.

As a result, it is critical for merchants to prioritize steps like streamlining navigation, improving website load times, and simplifying checkout processes.

Some Fraud Problems Are Hidden
But all these bells and whistles are wasted if fraud prevention measures aren’t also elevated for mCommerce.

A more significant surge in legitimate transactions may “hide” a fraud problem, the report warned, making fraud appear to take a smaller share of the holiday pie.

Riskified warned that merchants should also be careful of falsely declining good customers, especially when demand and competition are so high.

Digital wallets streamline checkouts to a single click accounting for half of the world’s e-commerce payment transactions. Market share is expected to grow from 49% to 53% by 2025.

The report said that determined fraudsters can overcome even the most advanced, “fraud-proof” payments.

Among other things, the report encourages merchants to look for solutions that offer real-time decision capabilities and a form of chargeback insurance to protect the business all year long, but especially from increased chargeback costs during the holidays.

Now that we know what to look for, what can we do to protect ourselves and our families? Here are some simple practical tips you can follow:

Be suspicious: A little bit of suspicion goes a long way. Be on the lookout for anything unexpected, urgent requests that trigger your emotions and tempting offers. Double check the URL of the site you are visiting.

Do your research: If you’re buying from a site or seller you haven’t used before, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to do some research before clicking the “buy” button. Find out if the company is reputable by using a review site like the Better Business Bureau. Take time to fully read the description of what you are buying. In 2020 some very disappointed eBay customers received photos of the latest PS5 console rather than the console itself. The rushed buyers didn’t read the description, which included the very important detail that it was a photo of the console that was for sale, not the console itself.

Choose your payment methods carefully: Credit cards often provide greater protections when it comes to fraud. Also consider using a virtual card, which ties to your same card account, but uses a different number. If possible, designate a single card for online purchases and keep it at a lower credit limit. Another way to protect yourself is to use a trusted payment site like PayPal. That way you aren’t sharing your card number and you have another party to contest your purchase if something goes wrong.

Set up alerts on your banking/accounts: If you become a victim of fraud, having banking alerts set up will help you spot it sooner, allowing you to limit the potential damage.

Spread the word: Talk to your friends and family about scams that are out there and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves.

Situations where people spend money more freely tend to attract fraud. That’s certainly the case during November and December, when retailers generate, their annual sales.

While the recent rise in ransomware has put many businesses on high alert, triggering new investments in data protection and backup software, hackers are sophisticated and relentless – consumers must be diligent with their shopping habits as well. The holidays are a time to celebrate, but they’re also a time to be careful. A little due diligence can help limit the threats posed by festive fraud.

This article was first reported by the Street.