Dodging Scams: Brooklyn E-Stores’ 5-Step Guide(in 2023)

Online shopping and e commerce

Hey there!

In the ever-evolving world of e-commerce, it’s unfortunate that just as technology and opportunities advance, so too does the ingenuity of digital tricksters. 

The past few years have seen a concerning uptick in e-commerce scams, as unscrupulous individuals aim to exploit the rapid growth of online businesses. 

For Brooklyn E-Stores, this growing threat makes it paramount to strap on the armor and fortify digital defenses like never before.

Welcome to the world of virtual vigilance, where securing your e-commerce fortress against the onslaught of scams becomes a vital part of your business strategy. 

Our 2023 Brooklyn guide will lead you on a five-step journey to equip you with the knowledge, strategies, and tools necessary to outsmart scammers and protect your business. 

From understanding common e-commerce scams to arming yourself with robust security measures and efficient monitoring systems, we’re here to help you create an impenetrable stronghold for your e-store. 

Let’s do this!

Step 1: Educate Yourself on Common E-Commerce Scams 

Young classmates studying together inside classroom - Education concept

Scams in the e-commerce world are like clowns at a birthday party – they look fun and entertaining, but they can really ruin your day if you’re not careful! 

And just like clowns, they’ve got some popular tricks up their sleeve. Let me take you through some of these party poopers targeting Brooklyn E-stores in 2023.

First, we’ve got ‘Phishing scams’ – the classic ‘got-your-nose’ trick of the digital world. 

Here, scammers impersonate trusted organizations to trick you into revealing sensitive information. 

It’s like someone pretending to be your mom to get your secret cookie recipe. Not cool!

Then there’s ‘Triangulation fraud.’ Sounds like a complicated math problem, right? 

Well, it’s not much better. 

It involves three parties: an innocent purchaser, a fraudulent seller, and an unsuspecting legitimate store. 

It’s like a bad sitcom plot with your e-store stuck in the middle!

We can’t forget about ‘Chargeback fraud.’ 

It’s when customers purchase products, claim they never arrived, and ask for a refund. 

It’s like eating a whole pizza and then telling the restaurant you never got it to get your money back. It’s cheesy, but it happens!

Another one to watch for is ‘Identity theft’. 

It’s exactly what it sounds like – someone pretending to be someone else to make fraudulent purchases. 

It’s like that episode of Seinfeld where the guy pretends to be George. 

Hilarious in a sitcom, not so much in real life.

Why does all this matter? Because according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, reported losses from cybercrime nearly doubled to $4.2 billion in the US in 2020. 

That’s more dollars than a Seinfeld syndication deal!

So, what’s the most common question I get? “Can my small Brooklyn e-store really be targeted?” 

And the answer is yes! Scammers don’t care if your business is small, medium, or large – if there’s a loophole, they’ll wriggle through it.

Another popular one is “Where can I learn more about these scams?” 

Well, let me tell you, FTC’s guide to e-commerce scams is as enlightening as a stand-up routine but with less laughs and more practical advice.

Remember, knowing about these scams isn’t just about protecting your business. 

It’s about protecting your customers, reputation, and the last slice of pizza. Because once that’s gone, it’s gone!

Step 2: Implement Strong Security Measures 

Woman, computer and hacker with music headphones and programming for cybersecurity. Thinking, radio

Why do we all lock our doors at night, but when it comes to our online stores, we leave them wide open for anyone to wander in? 

We’re better than this, people! 

Let’s talk about locking up your e-store tighter than my uncle’s wallet at a family dinner.

Firstly, SSL certificates, what’s the deal with them? 

Well, they’re like those envelopes your grandmother seals so tightly you must wrestle with them for an hour to see your $5 birthday check. 

With SSL, your customer’s data is locked up safely and securely, so the hacker is the only person wrestling with it.

Then, there’s two-factor authentication. 

You know when you go to the ATM, and you need both your card and the pin? That’s what two-factor authentication is. 

It’s like a double whammy of security that’ll leave scammers more confused than a chameleon in a bag of Skittles.

And let’s not forget about firewalls. 

Imagine if you had a digital doorman that could just slam the door shut in the face of troublemakers. 

That’s your firewall. It keeps the hooligans out while letting your good customers in.

Finally, there’s PCI Compliance. PCI Compliance would be your health code rating if your website was a restaurant. 

It keeps your customers’ credit card information safe and ensures you’re meeting all the proper safety standards.

Why go to all this trouble, you ask? 

According to a report from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, about 60% of small businesses close up shop within six months of a cyber attack. 

It’s like a surprise party where the surprise is you’re out of business.

But you may be wondering, “Is this SSL thing necessary?” Let me put it this way. 

You wouldn’t drive a car without seat belts, would you? So why run an e-store without an SSL? And if you’re asking, 

“Where can I learn more about these fancy security measures?” 

Well, check out this guide from BigCommerce

It’s got more details than a detective novel.

When it comes to online security, it’s like my mother always said, “Better safe than sorry.” 

Step 3: Regular Monitoring and Scam Detection 

monitoring

You know what regular monitoring in the world of e-commerce is like? 

It’s like going to the gym. 

You don’t really want to do it, it takes time and effort, but without it, you’re not gonna like what you see in the mirror (or, in this case, your monthly reports).

Let’s take a stroll down the proverbial gym aisle, shall we? 

First, there’s ‘Traffic monitoring.’ This is your e-commerce cardio routine. 

It helps you track where your website’s traffic is coming from and who’s visiting you. 

And just like cardio, it can reveal some concerning red flags – like a sudden spike in traffic from an unusual source.

Next up, we’ve got ‘Transaction monitoring.’ This is like your weightlifting routine – it’s all about the heavy stuff. 

Keeping an eye on your transactions can help you identify odd purchasing patterns or unusually high orders. 

It’s like spotting someone trying to lift 200 lbs on their first day at the gym – it just doesn’t add up.

Finally, there’s ‘User behavior monitoring.’ 

Think of this as your flexibility training. It helps you understand how your users interact with your site. 

And just like a sudden change in your flexibility could signal an issue, abnormal user behavior could be a sign of a potential scam.

Why are we even talking about this? Well, according to a report by Verizon, 56% of breaches took months or longer to discover. 

That’s like walking around with spinach in your teeth for a year – embarrassing and easily avoidable!

You might be thinking, “Isn’t this monitoring thing going to be a lot of work?” 

Well, my friend, remember when Seinfeld tried to keep track of his jokes and lost his “thing”? 

It’s the same principle – with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be hard work. 

There are plenty of automated systems out there that can do the heavy lifting for you.

Another common question is, “What tools can I use for monitoring?” 

This is a great question, and I recommend starting with a tool like Google Analytics for traffic and user behavior monitoring and Stripe Radar for transaction monitoring.

Remember, consistent monitoring is just like sticking to your gym routine. 

It might seem tedious, but when you’re flexing your scam-free muscles at the end of the day, you’ll know it was worth it. 

Don’t let your business skip leg day!

Step 4: Develop a Response Plan for Potential Scams 

SCAM spelled out backlit by green

Picture this: You’re in a diner, it’s 3 a.m., and the chef drops your favorite pastrami sandwich on the floor. 

Does he have a plan? Well, he better, unless he’s keen on becoming the star of your next stand-up routine. 

Just like that pastrami sandwich, your e-commerce site needs a plan – a scam response plan, to be specific.

So what makes a good response plan? First identification. 

It’s the same principle as catching a bad joke before it bombs. You need to spot the scam before it does damage. 

This requires staying current with the latest scams and having systems to detect suspicious activity.

Next, containment. 

If your pastrami sandwich hits the floor, you don’t just leave it there! The same goes for a potential scam – once identified, you must stop it from spreading or causing more harm.

Then comes the investigation. 

You wouldn’t just assume the pastrami sandwich fell due to gravity, would you? Of course not. You’re a comedian! 

You’d blame the chef’s clumsiness, a rogue gust of wind, or a very aggressive mouse. 

It’s important to get to the bottom of how and why the scam happened.

Finally, recovery and review. 

After the incident, you need to repair any damage, recover any losses, and, most importantly, review what happened. 

This is to ensure it doesn’t happen again because, let’s face it, no one wants a repeat performance of a bad joke or scam.

According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, businesses take an average of 287 days to identify and contain a breach. 

A solid response plan could dramatically cut that time down, and in the world of e-commerce, time is money!

A common question I get is, 

“Does a small e-commerce site like mine really need a response plan?” 

The answer is a resounding, “What’s the deal with airline food?”. 

Just kidding, it’s a yes. 

Scams don’t discriminate – a response plan is essential whether your business is big or small.

Another question is, “Where can I find more information about setting up a scam response plan?” 

You can check out the Federal Trade Commission’s guide on protecting your business from scams.

Remember this: Just like good comedy, a good response plan can save the day.

Step 5: Educate Your Customers about Scams 

Red fox, Vulpes vulpes, standing next to a Hen, lying, isolated on white

Hold on to your hats, folks, because we’re about to delve into the exciting world of scam education. 

You might think, “My customers, they know a scam when they see one, right?” 

Well, would you trust your customers to defuse a bomb based on that one action movie they saw? 

The answer, unless your customers are part of a bomb squad, should be a firm “no”.

Now, why should we even bother educating customers about scams? 

Imagine this: Your website is a peaceful village, and your customers are its hardworking villagers. 

Scams are like cunning foxes that sneak into the village, eager to create havoc. 

Your customers might spot a fox occasionally, but they wouldn’t know how to fend them off. 

By educating them, you’re essentially giving them a pitchfork to chase away those sneaky foxes.

But how do we arm our villagers with pitchforks without scaring them away? 

It’s all about effective communication. 

You don’t need to scream, “The foxes are coming!” every other minute. Instead, provide simple, easy-to-digest information. 

Think of it like explaining the plot of a complicated sci-fi movie but without the time travel paradoxes.

Now, in a world where the human attention span is supposedly less than that of a goldfish (though that’s a myth, by the way), visual aids can be your best friend. 

An infographic that lays out what a typical scam might look like can be as impactful as a slapstick comedy routine. 

Well, almost.

Remember to keep your customers in the loop, but don’t go overboard. 

No one wants daily scam warnings clogging up their inbox like those “lose 10 pounds in a week” emails. 

A monthly blog post or an occasional email is enough to keep them alert but not alarmed.

“But won’t my customers freak out?” you ask. 

Well, here’s a sobering fact: According to the PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020, almost half (47%) of global businesses experienced fraud over the last two years. 

That’s as if every second person in Brooklyn suddenly lost their favorite pair of socks. 

Knowledge of scams isn’t panic-inducing; it’s essential.

For constant updates on current scams, FTC’s Scam Alerts is like the trusted town crier, always on top of the latest news. 

It’s time to arm your customers with knowledge and pitchforks and give those foxes a run for their money. 

So go forth and educate, because in the game of scams, you either win or…you get the idea.

Additional Resources 

Online help Support Concept - keyboard with BLUE support awareness ribbon key button.

Oh, the wonders of the internet, right? On the one hand, it gives us cat videos and infinite pizza delivery options. 

On the other, it offers a smorgasbord of scams as diverse as the array of bagels in Brooklyn. 

You’ll need trusty guides if you’re navigating this delicious yet potentially dangerous landscape. 

It’s as if Indiana Jones had a web browser instead of a whip.

The first on my list is the National Cyber Security Alliance’s StaySafeOnline

It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of digital defense resources, offering everything from advice on securing your online business to tips on how to train your employees to avoid falling for scams. 

Who wouldn’t want an army of digital defense warriors at their disposal?

If StaySafeOnline is the Swiss Army Knife, then the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is the shield. 

It’s a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center, providing a platform to report internet crimes. 

Think of it as your digital ‘911’. IC3 also provides the latest news on internet crime schemes, like TMZ for scams, minus celebrity gossip. 

With these resources, your Brooklyn e-commerce site can be as secure as Fort Knox and way more fun!

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Thanks for reading, don’t forget to leave a comment until next time!

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