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Facility takeover fraud warning

Criminals are trading information about compromised customer data online, to support frauds against retailers, according to the counter-fraud trade body Cifas. It says it has seen evidence of criminals discussing organisations that do not carry out fraud checks against Cifas databases to identify them as easier targets to commit fraud against.

As a result of London Fashion Week, retailers will be taking to online platforms to sell merchandise and encourage customers to sign up for accounts. Cifas is reminding these retailers that it is crucial that they keep the details of these accounts safe from fraudsters and cyber hackers.

Mark Courtney, Cifas’ Chief Product Officer, said: ‘There are a number of simple steps retailers can take to protect their customers from facility takeover fraud. It’s critical that they train and equip front line staff – such as those working in customer support roles – so they can spot suspicious behaviour quickly. Offering multi-step authentication to customers when accessing their accounts will also mean that a breach of email and password won’t automatically give criminals access to their account.

‘With increasing numbers of people buying online, retailers need to keep up-to-date with the latest intelligence from others in the sector so they can take steps to mitigate these risks together. Criminals don’t work in silos and neither should we. Only by working together can we protect the public from the serious damage caused by fraud.’

And Amber Burridge, Head of Fraud Intelligence at Cifas, said: ‘A common trend often seen around Fashion Week is alternative brands designing items similar to those you’ll see on the runway for a lower price. When shopping online for these deals, be wary of fake goods or phishing websites designed to steal your personal and banking details.

‘If you are shopping on a new website, do your research before signing up to their mailing list, creating an account or making a purchase, as these could be phishing websites. Check out reviews on independent websites and always use secure payment methods. Take your time when making a purchase and don’t feel rushed into handing over your details to anyone.’

Meanwhile, Tracey Carpenter, Proposition Manager – Insider Threat, at Cifas and Mike Betts, Head of Learning at the Cifas Fraud and Cyber Academy, are holding a webinar free for London Fraud Forum members on the insider threat, on Thursday afternoon, February 25.


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