What Is E-Commerce Fraud

What Is E-Commerce Fraud

14 December, 2023

With online shopping becoming so convenient, there's a problem: e-commerce fraud. Protecting yourself from scams is important because online transactions can be tricky. This article talks about fraud detection in e-commerce.

E-commerce scams include data theft, unauthorised transactions, and false product claims. Learn to spot red flags for various e-commerce fraud types to shop safely online.

Types of frauds in e-commerce

Friendly fraud

This is when people ask their banks for refunds on orders that might not have any issues. It causes problems for businesses and can lead to lost money and unhappy customers.

Card testing fraud

Fraudsters try out stolen Credit Cards by buying small things first. If it works, they go on to buy more expensive items.

Refund abuse

Some people cheat businesses by returning broken, stolen, or damaged items to get refunds, even when it's against the rules.

Online payment fraud

Criminals steal payment information to shop online. They might even create fake websites to fool customers and steal their card details.

Account takeover fraud

Hackers break into online accounts and use saved cards to buy things without permission. They might trick people with weak passwords or fake emails.


Scammers use stolen cards to buy stuff and change the delivery address to take the item themselves before it reaches the real owner.

Triangulation fraud

Scammers create fake websites with really cheap stuff. People give their card details, and scammers use that info to buy things from real stores, making victims pay twice.

Fraud Detection in e-commerce: How to identify e-commerce fraud

  1. Unusually High Order Volume: Scammers often buy expensive items using stolen Credit Cards since they're not spending their own money.

  2. Very Low-Value Orders: Keep an eye on extremely cheap transactions. Fraudsters might use small purchases to check if a stolen card is valid.

  3. Multiple Credit Cards from One Customer: If a single customer makes several purchases with different cards, it could indicate testing stolen card details.

  4. Frequent declined transactions: Fraudsters may not have all the necessary card information. If payments fail repeatedly due to security errors, it's likely not an innocent mistake.

  5. Unusual IP locations: Look out for multiple orders from the same IP address or orders from unfamiliar locations. For example, if most customers are in India, an order from another country could be suspicious.

  6. Different billing and shipping addresses: This is common in triangulation fraud, where fraudsters use stolen cards to ship items to real customers.

How to protect yourself from e-commerce Scams

  1. Choose verified apps: Download apps from reputable sources to avoid security risks, especially for financial transactions in India.

  2. Stick to secure sites: Only visit websites that have "https://" in the URL. Be careful of fraudulent websites that may try to copy well-known brands.

  3. Secure connections: Avoid unsecured public Wi-Fi, ensuring safe online activities and payments.

  4. Card caution: Keep your payment card in sight, and confirm the POS machines' legitimacy.

  5. Update security: Keep software and passwords updated, use strong and unique passwords, and change them frequently.

  6. Be careful with suspicious communication: Be cautious of phishing emails, calls, and texts, especially those asking for financial details.
  7. Reject remote access: Do not give scammers remote access to your computer to avoid malicious purposes.

Vigil Aunty: your Guardian against e-commerce scams

In this age of 'Digital India', it is crucial to protect yourself against online fraud. HDFC Bank's Vigil Aunty is on a mission: to secure banking for all through 'Freedom from Frauds.' With a focus on education and empowerment, she stands to guide and unite against fraud, ensuring a safe digital journey for everyone.

*Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.

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