Sunday, June 05, 2005

Auction Fraud Update

Recently, a news report out of Louisiana announced that Subway was planning to discontinue it's current 6 inch sandwich promotion. The reason for it was counterfeit coupons being circulated on the internet via auctions. It's amazing that in the world today, a major marketing promotion is being shut-down, essentially through fraud and the internet. Here is the story:

Although from a magazine for Corporate Security Types, this article demonstrates the growing market in gift cards being sold on the internet. Fraud on E-Bay is considered to be growing. Besides fraudulent (hot) merchandise/financial instruments being sold, the latest trends are phishing and pharming identities off of look a like websites that appear to be E-Bay, or their sister organization PayPal. Please note that E-Bay and PayPal are not the only sites being duplicated in these scams.

Craig's List is a less commercial site (most of it free), where people sell items. Recently, there has been large increase in Counterfeit Cashier Check/Counterfeit Money Order/Wire Transfer Scams. These scams trick people into negotiating counterfeit financial instruments and then wiring a portion of the money overseas, only to be held responsible for the fraudulent instrument when it returns. Craig himself put together a very useful guide:

Please note that these scams could be found on all sites where auctions/selling occur.

It's an amazing cycle and everyone is being victimized from major corporations to the poor soul, who has their identity stolen and must bear the burden of restoring their very being. The only way to protect yourself is through awareness and supporting laws to protect us all from this growing menace.

If you want to research these subjects further, use the search box at the top of the page.