Better Business Bureau 2017 Scam Tracker Annual Report And Implications

From the Better Business Bureau (BBB), online purchases are now the riskiest form of consumer fraud. Based on the BBB Scam Tracker Annual Report for 2017, consumers reported 47,000 scams, data the BBB then collated into their latest Risk Report. It is clear that any business involved in online transactions will need to take this news seriously as Virtual Storefronts more and more replace or supplement “Brick and Mortar” Storefronts. According to some estimates, online retail sales will reach almost 9% of total retail spending in 2018 as compared to the 7.4% spent in 2016. Some areas are already well ahead of those figures, with the UK leading the way at 15.6%, China at 13.8% and Norway at 11.5%, according to figures from invespcro.com. Riskiest Scams is a data point based upon customer/business exposure, susceptibility and monetary loss. Compared to the 2016 Risk Report, Online Purchase Scams jumped from 4th place to 1st, while Home Improvement Scams dropped from 1st in 2016 to 6th. This was somewhat surprising given the amount of natural disasters that occurred in 2017 which normally bring out “storm chasers”, scam artists who prey upon the desperation of people trying to recover from partial or total loss of property and possessions. Notable also in this report was the drop senn in Tax Collection Scams from 2016 to 2017, most likely due to the arrest in India in 2016 of the leader of a group of call centers that were the main perpetrators of the IRS Scam affecting thousands in 2016. Here is the link to this report for further investigation: https://www.bbb.org/bbbscamtrackerriskreport/

Implications of this news are obvious for businesses of all sizes and ages, from the startup to the established. The allocation of appropriate resources to information security during online transactions and afterwards is paramount to consumer confidence and return business. The creation of an entire industry predicated upon the immediate (or as close to immediate as is possible) detection of information compromise (Lifelock, Experian, IDShield, etc.) only reinforces the importance of information security. If in house capability does not exist to provide this security, it is a necessary expense for any size business that wants to stay in operation for any length of time. PayPal is a familiar tool that provides online transaction capability for all sizes of businesses, from eBay to individuals. For a small business like Iron Lot using PayPal online invoices provide both convenience and security when accepting credit card payments. Useful tips for security measures are also found in the following article from eKutumb, http://ekutumb.com/payment-security-measures-to-deal-ecommerce-security-threats/

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