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Expert warns online shoppers of 'fast fraud' this Cyber Monday


As countless people across the nation take to the internet today for Cyber Monday holiday gift shopping, consumers are warned about a rising trend involving stolen credit information and fraud.

The practice is known as "fast fraud," and is described as a scam involving the use of stolen credit information to make online purchases of digital goods, then resell them on another site. Unlike other purchases involving stolen credit information, fast fraud purchases are able to be flipped for resale more quickly.

"Consumers are purchasing things online that are instantly available, whether they be digital downloads, digital gift cards, event tickets, movie tickets, downloadable movies or songs, something along those lines," said Chris Uriarte, chief strategy and payments officer at Vesta, a company that deals in online fraud protection for businesses.

Being a victim of fraud hurts businesses big and small not only in terms of cost, Uriarte said, but also in terms of reputation. While larger businesses may be better prepared to handle fraud attacks, it could deal a devastating blow to smaller, mom-and-pop-owned businesses that may never recover.

Consumers, for their part, can protect their credit by being more careful with their protection. Uriarte suggests one serious problem is that many consumers use a password that's too easy to figure out. And, they use it on more than one account.

"Very often, when fraudsters or criminals get access to password data, they try to utilize that password and that email information on multiple sites," he said. "If you're on one site and they're able to get your password, what they can then do is go to your online bank and see if your username and password will work over there."

More information on 'fast fraud' is available on Vesta's website. White papers on the subject are available for download at no cost.

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