Christmas shopping is reaching a frenzied state right now, and consumers are more eager to share their financial details with websites and applications to buy some last-minute gifts. It should come as no surprise t find this time of year is when most financial details are stolen. Consumers need to be on their toes at all times and tread carefully through the traps in front of them.
Online Fraud: Websites And Applications
Zscaler security researchers recently uncovered a smartphone app that looks and acts like the real Amazon application but is nothing more than an attempt to defraud unsuspecting consumers. What is even more worrying is how this app did most of its handiwork after users attempted to delete the malicious software from their device.
While it is good to see reports surfacing regarding this particular application, it represents only the tip of the iceberg. Considering how 40 percent of all online fraud takes place during Q4 of each year, consumers have to be more careful with their financial details. Some deals may appear too good to be true, and in most cases, they are nothing more than a trap to steal information.
During the holiday shopping season, there is a very potent mix of ingredients to make this time of year an interesting target for hackers and fraudsters. On the one hand, there are tons of people shopping online for deals and gifts, and the cheaper the offer, the more chance they will order something from a specific website or application.
On the other hand, there is the topic of how consumers reuse certain passwords for a variety of account and services on the Internet. A hacked Facebook account can lead to accessing someone’s online banking, and things will only go downhill from there. Plus, consumers rely on traditional financial services that were never intended to be used online, such as credit cards.
Another driving factor for online fraud is the new EMV-enabled plastic cards, which make it harder to obtain card information from physical payment terminals. Unfortunately, this will – most likely – lead to more fraud in the e-commerce sector, where protection of financial details is lackluster.
Bitcoin Is A Safer Alternative
While there should be more focus on ensuring customers protect their financial details at all times, there is an alternative solution available in the form of Bitcoin. The popular digital currency is not subject to fraud and chargebacks, as hackers can not steal the necessary information from a regular transaction, unlike what happens with credit cards.
Alternatively, Bitcoin is a global payment method, which allows retailers and consumers to pay from all over the world, without worrying about card acceptance or bank compatibility. Unfortunately, this popular digital currency has not become a mainstream payment method just yet, but the option is well worth considering for both consumer and retailer.
What is your opinion on the online fraud rates going on during the shopping season? How are you keeping financial details safe from harm? Let us know in the comments below!
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