New York City, New York, Feb. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Online sales have been soaring worldwide due to COVID-19 lockdown orders. In June 2020, global retail ecommerce traffic reached a record high at 22 billion monthly visits, according to data by Statista Research Department. People are buying goods online in order to reduce COVID-19 exposure, even hoarding essentials when cases surged. While this is certainly a silver lining for ecommerce stores, increased online activity opens more windows for malicious cybercriminal activity threatening the global economy.
The general public is especially susceptible to online purchase scams, which were ranked among the top three riskiest scams for the last three years, according to the 2019 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. As a result, online purchase scams are now responsible for up to $10.2 billion in global monetary losses since 2015, as stated in the 2019 Internet Crime Report by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Additionally, the IC3 reported an annual average of 340,000 global complaints related to Internet scams within the last five years. Even more concerning, national government agencies are struggling to control cybercriminal activity, despite having the manpower and infrastructure to operate 24/7.
Cybercriminals are creating millions of fake ecommerce sites under different IP addresses that only remain live until stolen transactions are processed. This ferocious cycle of shutting down and recreating new sites can take anywhere from hours to minutes. To redirect traffic away from official sites, scammers bombard social media with misleading ads, and push fake products on trusted shopping platforms. Victims end up receiving a poor imitation of what was originally advertised or – in most cases – nothing at all, resulting in permanent monetary loss or credit card theft.
Likewise, cybercriminals are not only cheating consumers, but also stealing massive profit from globally known ecommerce companies. Ranked among the top online men’s clothing stores in the US, Differio is just one of many online fashion titans battling such Internet fraud. Scammers are stealing thousands of Differio product images in order to falsely advertise them on fake ecommerce sites and phony third-party shops. To entice their targets, they manipulate product images so that they still share some resemblance to Differio’s original designs, but resold at heavily discounted rates. While stolen images are easy to find, online scammers hide behind secure proxy servers that make them nearly impossible to trace, even while committing crimes in different countries. Additionally, informational pages (Contact Us, About Us, etc.) are completely fabricated to give the illusion of a secure, authorized site.
Gaining millions of new visitors daily, Differio is the go-to online fashion destination for so many around the world, which naturally makes them an attractive target for online scammers. Based in the US, this multi-brand fashion retailer reported double-digit growth last year, which is only forecasted to climb as they dominate the stylish men’s clothing market. As the authority in trendy menswear, Differio routinely features high-profile models and celebrities in new campaigns and seasonal collections, even harnessing a cult following for their unorthodox styles.
For such in-demand brands, it becomes even more problematic when millions of customers search elsewhere for sold-out items while disregarding price and website legitimacy. Differio is fighting a relentless cycle of releasing original designs that get stolen and circulated within hours by fake sellers. It’s virtually impossible for any ecommerce company to tackle this issue alone, even with an in-house IT team. Cybercriminals aren’t just solitary workers committing small-scale crimes anymore. They’ve amassed into organized networks of international computer “gangs” (GozNym, Lazarus, Magecart, etc.) with enough resources to breach secure institutions, such as Sony Pictures, LG Electronics, and British Airways.
In order to maximize their protection against counterfeits and brand infringement, Differio recently signed with Corsearch, a market leading provider of brand establishment, protection, and anti-piracy solutions. Corsearch has offices in 14 countries, including the largest China-based team in the brand protection industry. Additionally, it provides Differio with access to a proprietary software system that scans millions of data points with industry-leading speed. Corsearch is also uniquely able to connect online monitoring and enforcement with offline Intelligence and investigations, which is why it has become a trusted partner for some of the world’s best known brands. For this reason, Differio chose to use Corsearch’s brand protection solution to help it protect its rights and grow its brand value.
In the meantime, research shows that consumer education is the easiest way to prevent online scams. A recent survey by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) revealed that customers who were aware of ecommerce scams were less likely to lose money compared to those with no prior knowledge. It’s highly recommended to investigate third-party sellers on marketplaces, and only purchase items from well-known official sites with a secure protocol (https).
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