Yes, criminals are making huge fortunes; more than you can imagine from fraudulent activities. The truth is that it takes several months of commitment and hard work, coupled with huge investment capital from business management teams to build a reputable and trusted brand.
But sadly, it only takes these criminals a few hours to destroy such hard work and repute.
In the United Kingdom, the public is a paramount target of fraudsters, and the statistics from the last few years have made it evident the huge cash being carted away by them. An interactive slider from skurio shows that it is currently estimated that fraudulent activities will cost the UK economy over £137,000,000,000 in 2021! That’s indeed shocking.
Of course, you would not want to lose your reputation and years of hard work and investment into your business as a result of these fraudulent acts as they can cost you fortunes. Dark web monitoring is a very good technological invention to help businesses protect themselves against such scam activities.
What is Dark Web Monitoring?
Dark web monitoring is the process of monitoring the dark web for your particular information. Why is it a dark web? It is because the information is not available on the surface web, and these fraudsters use such information to affect your business reputation.
Dark web monitoring tools work quite differently from domain monitoring tools that go through and monitor a list of domains registered on your web to identify fraudulent domains.
Which Consumer Items are Customers Missing Out on Due To Fraud?
According to the interactive slider from Skurio, fraud is causing customers to miss out on consumer items such as cups of coffee, cinema tickets, Netflix monthly subscriptions, family packs of 16 toilet rolls, full tanks of petrol, smartwatches, PlayStation 5, and round the world flight tickets in the UK.
We are now going to consider the high financial damage caused by fraud on some items customers could have had access to if they were not in the hands of fraudsters.
- For cups of coffee, the interactive slider shows us that consumers are losing about 136 488,169 cups of coffee every day to scammers. You can imagine the cappuccinos and lattes of this world not being able to satisfy its aficionados.
- For Netflix monthly subscriptions, about 62,661,513 of such is being lost to fraud every day. If you were to be part of those losing their subscription to such fraudulent activities, you can imagine the emotional distress you would go through being deprived of your favourite Netflix series. Currently, many subscribers could be missing out on the latest Netflix blockbuster series, squid games; that’s sad.
- For cinema tickets, 55,606,291 of them are being lost to scammers every day. Customers want to relish the experience of seeing new movies in the cinemas, but fraudsters are depriving many of such exciting moments.
- For family packs of 16 toilet rolls, about 44,157,937 of them are being lost every day to scammers. These are essential house items, but these scammers do not care.
- For full tanks of petrol, about 7,325,184 of such are being lost every day to scammers. You can imagine not being able to fuel your car. Frustrating.
- About 990,349 smartwatches are being carted away by scammers every day.
- Also, about 834,112 PlayStation 5 games are lost to scammers every day. For lovers of video games, they’d probably scream, “my Fifa 22, oh no!”
- About 75,068 round the world flight tickets are stolen by fraudulent activities every day. Touring the world is my delight, and being deprived of around the world flight tickets by scammers would be way agonising.
As noted in the second paragraph of this informational content, businesses are starting to utilize dark web monitoring solutions to clamp down on these scam activities. We can imagine the damaging impacts on businesses and their consumers.
The devastating financial costs are evident from the numbers already given above. There are also reputation damage risks for businesses. Businesses must be seen by their customers in an honest light otherwise, they lose customers. The activities of scammers can jeopardize this.
On the part of the customers, there would be prevalent dissatisfaction from lack of access to these consumer items. All these dark impacts of fraudulent activities need to be curbed by both organisations and the government.
How Do these Fraudsters Operate?
These fraudsters operate in two major ways; typosquatting and smishing. For typosquatting, they create lookalike websites from an established organisation to dupe customers or others visiting the website into giving data, purchasing fake products, or targeting them with malware. For smishing, they often send convincing lookalike emails linking to fake websites to scam visitors.
What Are the Government and Businesses Doing About These Scams?
The alarming effects of these frauds have necessitated urgent actions from businesses and the government alike. The online safety bill announced by the UK government on the 12th of May, 2021 has helped to improve web safety, but it has not clamped down on typosquatting and smishing which is where dark web monitoring comes in.
Business organisations are implementing dark web monitoring tools to clamp down on any dark web set up looking for customer information. Businesses are also adopting a 5-point plan to detect impersonation attacks:
- Assessing brand impersonation risk as part of the branding process.
- Trademarking business and its products.
- Registering appropriate top-level domains to prevent lookalike creations by scammers.
- Clear and consistent communications policies with customers to prevent them from falling for scams.
- Continuous domain monitoring to ensure early detection of such fraud.
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