Politics 2023-05-15T06:14:02+03:00
Ukrainian news
Soft2Bet: How to Avoid Financial Fraud on the Internet

Soft2Bet: How to Avoid Financial Fraud on the Internet

Банковская карта. Фото: pixabay
Банковская карта. Фото: pixabay

We use bank payment cards almost every day: we pay for goods via terminals in stores, withdraw cash, shop online or buy access to entertainment. According to Soft2bet analytics, Ukrainians used payment cards 4.3 billion times during nine months of the last year. And not many people think about how closely financial fraudsters monitor these transactions. According to the NBU, only during the first six months of 2020, financial fraudsters stole more than UAH 86 million from Ukrainians' cards. Phishing, forgery of payments, theft of personal data – these are just a few of the most common tools of deception. Soft2Bet experts told us how to detect online financial fraud and protect your money.

Scams for the Masses

Soft2bet considers the payment data theft to be one of the most common causes of online scam. That's why banks and financial service providers regularly ask customers to follow the precautionary rules. For example, choose online stores that support the 3D-Secure protocol. 

User authorization with 3D-Secure is a worldwide accepted way to protect online payments. World-famous Visa and MasterCard payment systems initiated its creation. After users enters their card data, the system takes them to a separate secure online page. To confirm that the payment is real, a buyer provides a One Time Password (OTP): a short digital code from SMS valid only for a few minutes. If a website has MasterCard SecureCode and/or Verified by Visa logos, it supports 3D-Secure.

"Never disclose your payment card details if the vendor or website are suspicious. Be especially careful with CVV\CVC code and OTP. If scammers get these data, anyone can use your card then," tell the experts of Soft2Bet Financial Department.

The risk of theft is higher when you make large purchases online. In such cases, you need to check several parameters. The first is the security of the Internet connection. Payment data are transmitted in several stages from the online store to the payment system and then to the acquiring bank and the bank that issued the buyer's card. At each of these stages, payment data can be stolen. Or you may send the money to fraudsters without noticing it. It is a typical online phishing scam.

"Look at the website's URL. If it has 'https', the connection is considered secure. If it starts with 'http', you shouldn't buy anything from such a site. Pay attention to how the URL changes at each stage of payment. If the connection ceases to be secure, it is better to cancel the purchase," recommends Soft2Bet.

How Businesses Recognize Scammers and Help Customers

Not only ordinary Ukrainians but also businesses suffer from financial perpetrators. Companies undertake all efforts to protect themselves and their clients from possible losses. "We use common tools like Bank ID or 3D-Secure. But businesses have several additional options on how to verify payments," explains Soft2Bet.

Online stores or entertainment sites identify every customer immediately. Regardless of whether you are registered or not, the company receives certain information about you: your country of residence, IP address, browser type, whether you use the phone or the desktop version of the site and many other things. It helps businesses build an initial customer profile. With each new visit to the site, your "portrait" becomes clearer to the company with your order history, the payment volume, new IP addresses (if, for example, you visit the same site at home and work).

If your behavior starts to differ from the "usual" one, the company may mark the transaction as suspicious and request additional verification. "For example, the system identifies you as ‘a user from Ukraine with Ukrainian browser language and GMT +2 time zone’ every time you visit the site. But maybe once the system sees you as ‘a user from Ukraine with Japanese browser language and GMT -7 time zone’. Such user behavior will definitely raise suspicion. In such cases the company may block the account and ask the client to confirm the identity additionally," tell Soft2Bet experts.

A more complicated case of forgery is the theft of payment card databases. Entertainment segment companies – online movie theaters, iGaming projects, etc. – suffer from such digital thefts more often. "Fraudsters buy credit card number data in the Darknet and then use cards one by one to make a gaming site deposit, for example, and win even more money," explains Soft2Bet. Specially created anti-fraud departments of the companies address such cases.

How to Avoid Forgery

Soft2bet's Financial Security Department believes that personal vigilance of every user helps to save money at all times. Do not underestimate the threat of online fraud: sometimes, even trained specialists fail to recognize phishing. It's why simple security rules can prevent thieves from stealing your money.

You should be especially careful if the online vendor is new and not a well-known major brand. In addition to the list mentioned above, you can look for this new website on the Stop Fraud list of the Cyber Police of Ukraine or the EMA Black List. And to be fully prepared to meet the unexpected types of fraud, practice recognizing the fraudsters by playing the Zdolai Shakhraia game developed at the National Bank of Ukraine initiative.

It is not always possible to avoid financial fraud online, unfortunately. But Soft2bet is sure that anyone can reduce the risks for themselves and create obstacles to online criminals. Do not hesitate to double-check if you have doubts about the safety of online payments. After all, trained and vigilant cardholders are a much more difficult target.

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