How Do You Deal With Internet Fraud - We have many...
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We have many practical examples where people get the physical world wrong - they put their bank cards into fake ATMs and enter their PINs, they tell their friends and children their passwords (sometimes in public), they sign up to 'get rich quick' deals with people they don't know - so how well are we set up to handle the Internet world, where web sites are just exactly as good as their designer intended?
The practical answer is just barely. The Internet is marketed as an anonymous zone. Information is free and users are anonymous. Now some of those features are desirable. When you go into a store it is the store that has to tell you who they are. If you pay with cash they will never know who you are and none of your legal rights are affected. They give you a receipt and you can check any of the details and get corrections made on the spot. If you want credit you have to tell them more about you, but not necessarily very much.
The Internet, by comparison, is anonymous whether you are the seller or the customer. For the seller it is as anonymous as they want to make it. This, of course, might be thought of as attractive to a fraudster.
Avoiding obvious frauds on the Internet
Some potential sources of fraud - misrepresenting a business as that of someone else - are being slowly dealt with. Domain name registration has almost reached the point where there is some certainty that www.harrods.com is the web version of a famous department store in Knightsbridge, London. But it is still very far from being fully resolved. It is still possible to register www.harrodds.com, www.harrodss.com. You can copy the real thing without too much difficulty, and with a bit of luck and some spelling mistakes a fraudster can still be in business.
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