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What to do if you’re hit by a fraud scam in ecommerce

The number of ecommerce frauds in the United States has jumped by a whopping 300% in the past year alone, according to the National Fraud Intelligence Center (NFIC).

The number of fraud cases filed with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has also skyrocketed from just 2,400 in 2013 to nearly 3,400 today.

The NFIC has warned that the increasing number of fraudulent ecommerce transactions is posing a threat to consumers and the broader financial system.

“We have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of people who have been targeted and have suffered fraud in the last year,” said Nadia Rakhman, NFIC director.

The group said frauds have increased in a number of key categories, including online fraud, in which people try to trick consumers into clicking on links that are actually fraudulent, such as those in e-commerce sites.

Online fraudsters use techniques such as automated scripts and malware to trick people into clicking onto links, such for instance, to purchase a product or a service.

In an effort to combat the growing threat, the NFIC is calling for an unprecedented wave of public education and awareness campaigns to promote consumers to protect themselves against fraud.

“As consumers and business owners, we all have a responsibility to educate ourselves and our employees, so that we can protect ourselves,” said Rakhmans.

In the past, ecommerce scams were relatively low-tech, but now the tactics are more sophisticated, said Rikhman.

For example, in 2014, online fraudsters tried to trick customers into downloading malware by promising to give them an unlimited number of free credit monitoring services, she said.