Fraud. It happens to the best of us.
This can be a very sensitive or irritating topic depending on individual experiences. I’d definitely say my experience was more irritating and inconvenient than emotional, but it’s also taught me that you need to take precaution with even the most “credible” or “secure” sites and/or platforms. Despite using Amazon’s company for years to order fast express shipping items or basic essentials, I’d never experienced a fraud attempt on their platform until now.
After searching through Amazon Prime’s app and looking at different massage guns for purchasing, I scrolled upon one manufacturer and added the product to my cart. After further scrolling through my options, I decided to go with a different company and removed the original product from my cart. After checking out only one item, the company that I originally clicked upon stored my information and submitted a purchase request on my behalf. You can imagine my shock as this company was able to access my information through only a limited amount of clicks, but I immediately contacted my bank and Amazon once the purchase was added to my statement.
If you’ve experienced an attempted fraud attempt, it’s crucial to keep a timeline of events as they’ve happened so you can easily report this theft to your bank and/or company that’s offering a service/product. Also, you’re able to take an additional step by locking all your cards connected to any pre-existing accounts. Additionally, update any security features in your devices for an extra level of confirmation when merchants are trying to access your information and/or submit a purchase request. Luckily, my situation was able to be resolved when filing an investigation against the company through Amazon. However, I decided to take an additional step of closing that card/bank account since my information was already compromised.
As technology advances, it can be eerie that some companies have the potential to retract crucial information from a merchant or even store sensitive data by one click on their product/company. The best way to avoid attempted fraud or scam attempts is to stay protected, therefore I’m observing everything on my apps/platforms very closely from now on. It’s an annoying hassle to have to open another bank account and wait for your card to be delivered in the mail if you’re not able to use any cards connected to your Apple Wallet or cellular device. Definitely try to stay prepared by having a small amount of cash on hand for emergencies. Take it from someone who knows.
By Kori Barnes, University of Southern California
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