As an e-Commerce retailer who sells though his own website, eBay and Amazon, Max has his ear to the pulse of on-line buying, selling and, unfortunately, thievery. There are nefarious individuals out there, and not all of them were elected to public office.
You would not believe the lengths to which these crooks will go, to get their hands on your hard earned money. You also may not believe just how much they get away with. Their schemes have a lot of victims -- Buyers, sellers, card holders as well as insurance companies. Nobody likes being ripped off and the effect hits us all in the long run. Even with seller and buyer protections offered by eBay, PayPal and insurers, it's still not free. The added cost of providing protection gets passed down and eventually gets added in to the bottom line -- the costs of good paid by all buyers.
Manatee Max pays two different services a monthly fee specifically to check for red flags and attempt to catch fraud before it happens. I'll put a shameless plug in here for https://app.signifyd.com/ . These folks are all over it. Each order that comes to Manatee Max has to pass through Signifyd's system which compares and matches information like the isp, e-mail address, billing address, physical distance between the originating isp, billing and shipping addresses, incidents reported regarding any of that information and length of time it's been since any changes to those aspects, and more. It's very thorough. It helps us and you from getting robbed.
I'm not going into details about how these criminals operate, or what works and what doesn't. I'm not going to create a how to guide for prospective thieves.
What I am going to do here is tell you how you can protect yourself against on-line fraud easily, and fairly quickly. (depending on how many accounts you have) These thieves rely on our complacency. They know that most of us hardly take more than a cursory glance at our account balances and activity, and not very often. This is their window of opportunity. They will make transactions -- sometimes only $20 or $30 -- over and over until the account they've hacked gets declined. Merchants don't like getting ripped off and we sure don't like our customers getting ripped off, but, these crooks have ways which utilize layers of activities which hide their transactions, which make them virtually untraceable.
There is one line of defense. Do not give them the time to suck your account[s] dry. Check your banking, credit card and PayPal account activity daily, and report any and all suspicious activity immediately.
Stopping these people dead in their tracks after the first transaction is the only way to shut them down.
I will say, this is not in any way a permanent fix. Once they try to use your account and it gets declined, they toss that information aside and move on to the next account. If they get booted from third party seller platforms like eBay and Amazon, they simply create a new fictitious Gmail address and account and start all over again. It is, apparently, a very lucrative scheme.
One last thing. If you're shopping on-line ans see an item which is below the price most other sellers are advertising, you might be better off choosing a different seller. One of the red flags for some fraud operations is unusually low prices.
So, thanks for reading. Pass this on to others you care about, and check your financial activity every day. Let's all make this difficult for them if we can.