By Judith Dayan Persson
Vice President of European Operations and Business Development
The last two years have been huge for e-commerce and have ushered in a new era of online services. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, people were spending more time online, but lockdowns and the need to shelter in place accelerated this trend.
By the start of 2022 it was clear that the move online is here to stay, but this has also opened to door to cybercriminals who try to seize consumer information. Norton, the premier creator of antivirus software, emphasizes the importance of staying ahead of online trends, both positive and negative ones, and has issued its annual cybersecurity predictions.
One thing that is clear from these predictions is that taking precautions online is more important than ever. This is particularly true when making transactions, purchasing or trading cryptocurrencies, and dealing with sensitive financial information. If you have lost money to online fraud, it is important to file a complaint and to seek guidance from professionals about how to track down the source of online fraud.
Speak to our professionals who can assist you in fund recovery efforts. MyChargeBack provides guidance to consumers who are fighting merchant disputes, crypto scams, or other types of fraud. Talk to MyChargeBack professionals and get started on fund recovery.
Identity at Risk
One gap Norton identified with current services is the availability of electronic identification. This is sorely needed because of the high incidence of identity theft and imposter fraud. People still find that they have to send a photograph of their driver’s license or other identification from physical sources. These photos can be easily counterfeited and used without the user’s knowledge.
The number of natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornados, has been increasing and surpassing records. Global climate change may be to blame, and if so that means that more of these huge storms should occur in the future. This requires not only disaster relief planning efforts but warnings to consumers about fraudulent schemes created by those who seek to profit from these misfortunes.
Charity fraud is unfortunately widespread and is created by those who pretend to represent a charitable organization. They may manage to decoy emails and other communications that appear exactly like the legitimate versions. They may reach out to people by telephone, social media, WhatsApp, email, or fake ads and ask for a donation to disaster victims.
The reason charity frauds can be so effective is that those who intend to donate to worthy causes, unlike forex traders, don’t expect to see a return on the money they give. They may expect to receive a thank you message or email, but it can be difficult for them to determine if their money was used to fund a fraudulent scheme.
In addition, many of those behind these operations may assume that people who intended to give away money in the first place may be less aggressive about getting in back if they suspect it was to an illegal scheme. Whether money was lost to a charity or a broker, it is important to file a complaint to let the authorities know and to help them catch those behind the scheme.
Greater Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
More companies are cutting costs and improving efficiency using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Just as companies can personalize their marketing strategies through these technologies, illegal operations can pinpoint customers and fake a sense of familiarity with them through AI and ML tools.
These methods can go further to make these schemes seem like they are originating from legitimate companies and organizations and may more easily confuse consumers, which of course, is their goal. Of particular concern is the use of deepfake videos that can distort reality and also be used to blackmail their targets.
Ideological in Addition to Financial Motives
A common assumption is that money is at the root of online crime, but Norton notes it is seeing an uptick in “hacktivism,” or cybercrime perpetrated for ideological rather than financial motives. In ages past, a pipe bomb or other explosives might have been a terrorist’s weapon of choice. In 2022, it could be ransomware.
These attacks can be large or small scale. As tempers flare over political disagreements on social media, there are growing numbers of disgruntled people who hack their opponents or spread deepfake videos about them. Many of these threats can actually be carried out in earnest as individuals have greater access to sophisticated technology to create fake videos, impersonate others and gain access to their accounts.
More Cryptocurrency Fraud
Cryptocurrency fraud has grown to be one of the most common illegal financial schemes, far outstripping forex and binary options. The tricky aspect of cryptocurrency is that transactions on the blockchain are pseudo-anonymous and hard to trace.
Investors may see the transaction and the trail of subsequent transfers, but they do not know the identity of the person behind these transactions or where that individual is located. The conventional wisdom is that money lost on the blockchain is simply gone, but this is no longer the case. Investigators have presided over many successful fund recovery efforts.
Fortunately, experts are honing their skills for cryptocurrency recovery, and many efforts to track down crypto frauds and retrieve funds have been successful. Proprietary technology, powerful databases, and cooperation with law enforcement and fund recovery professionals have led to positive results for consumers who have become the target for cryptocurrency schemes.
If you have lost money to an illegal scheme, seek fund recovery assistance right away. Consult with MyChargeBack experts and get started with your fund recovery claim. We have extensive working knowledge and relationship with regulators as well as the dynamics of crypto recovery and can improve our prospects of getting your money back.