• United States
Contributing Writer

Preventing Internet fraud

Apr 17, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Tips from the Internet Fraud Complaint Center

Whether you are the manager of an e-commerce site or an IT manager who does a lot of equipment purchasing on the ‘Net, it’s important to be aware of the risks of Internet fraud.

The Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) has published a best-practice list and I’ll share with you a few of the suggestions. Some are no-brainers, but truth be told, whether you’re selling something over the Web or buying something online, it’s easy to forget that not everyone on the other end of the transaction is trustworthy.

One of the first recommendations the IFCC offers is to be cognizant of the site at which you are conducting business. Get to know the policies for buying and selling, and if you are the site manager, make sure you’ve posted those policies in a clear and concise manner. Know the obligations of both the buyer and seller before beginning a transaction.

Another recommendation is to know the grievance procedure process. Is there even one in place? If you don’t receive either the merchandise or payment, to whom do you complain? How do they collect? What has their success rate been in retrieving lost articles or payments?

If you are conducting business via an auction site, check out the credibility of the seller. Have other people had good luck in dealing with that person? Is the e-mail address a real one or is it fraudulent? Are they using a free e-mail service?  The IFCC recommends checking out the Better Business Bureau for more information. Also, a red flag should go up if the seller is using a P.O. Box in their address.

Another excellent suggestion is to know the shipping and handling costs beforehand and whether they are included in the price of the item. And don’t give out any personal information such as your Social Security number or Driver’s License number. If you’re the manager of the site, make sure people conducting business there are not asking for such information.

The best way, according to the IFCC, to conduct business over the ‘Net is to use a credit card because of the dispute resolution services most credit card companies have in place.  And a no-brainer add-on to this is to make sure that the site to which you are supplying your credit card information uses a secure payment process.

These are just a few of the suggestions in the IFCC’s report. For more, check out: