Avoiding Online Fraud
by Dmitry Artimovich
Online fraud is something that many entrepreneurs unfortunately have to deal with too frequently and can stop your business in its tracks. Leading expert on online payment systems, Dmitry Artimovich, author of, “ONLINE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS: The evolution of Visa and MasterCard,” discusses how to escape internet fraud and ways to protect your business today.
1. How did you gain fame as a “Russian hacker.”
I have extensive experience, starting from being a computer game developer in Liquidator2 and Exodus from the Earth and growing into the CEO of the payment provider ChronoPay. And well,,, (laughing) I was really referred to as a hacker in a few New York Times articles. But that was many years ago, and since then I’ve built an amazing business career with no speculation that I was a hacker.
2. Why did you write this book?
When I was working for the oldest payment provider, I faced the issue of how to train and educate personnel. Many young lads had no idea how bank payments are wired. We decided to develop an in-house knowledge base (wiki) and then write a textbook. Thus Online Payment Solutions was born. And the book was publicly recognized as a good one, covering the development history of Visa and MasterCard and a detailed comparison of payment legislation in different countries, as well as chapters addressing how internet acquiring works.
3. Who is this book for?
- Employees of Internet payment service providers. The book was initially written for them in Russian and then translated and adapted for EU legislation.
- Bank workers dealing with Internet acquiring.
- E-commerce managers and business owners. The book will help them understand how bank cards work and how the payment commission is calculated.
The book will be interesting for anyone curious about the largest financial company in the world, VISA, and the history of credit cards. The VISA ideas, created by founder Dee Hock, are really impressive.
4. What valuable tips for business owners can you share about online fraud risks?
Not every company has the same security measures as the big corporations, but still you can do a lot to protect your business.
- Separate your personal accounts from your business accounts. One of the most frequent scams for businesses involves credit card fraud, if there is a breach of security, it won’t affect every your account.
- Increase protection of all your bank cards and accounts. Don’t give your business credit cards to your employees. Lock your company mailbox and give the key only to the trusted employee. Store all confidential data in a secure place. Use a secure online bill payment system!
- Increase protection of your company IT infrastructure. Get a standard protection package — the firewall, antivirus, malware, and spyware detection software. Back up everything! Change passwords regularly and protect them! Do not use the same password for all your accounts.
- Get one separate computer for all your online financial transactions. Use it only for financial purposes, not for social media, watching movies, googling, and not for your email. Do not use mobile banking, especially with unsecured Wi-Fi.
- Develop your company guidelines for your employees how to handle confidential data including your customer information and financial details.
- If you have an ecommerce business and you can’t invest much into the security measures, I would recommend to buy an insurance that includes losses from the online fraud.
5. How do payment systems deal with fraud?
Payment systems’ popularity resulted in countless frauds. Initially it was very easy to fake a bank card, as the card number was just embossed on plastic.
American lawmakers introduced the Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974, which declared that the cardholder is not responsible for a purchase that he/she did not make. The cardholder only needs to contact the bank within 60 days and report a fraudulent payment, and the bank must either prove that the holder has made the transaction or return the money. This law offered a powerful drive to further develop systems to protect against fraud:
- PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) was developed and adopted to impose a number of requirements and restrictions on operations with payment data, equipment, and software certification.
- 3D-Secure standard was introduced to protect retail outlets from so-called friendly-fraud (when the cardholder himself declares that he did not make the payment).
- EMV chip, which, unlike the magnetic strip, cannot be copied.
6. When can stolen money be refunded to a card?
According to the general Visa and MasterCard rules, you have 120 days to void the transaction if you did not perform it. Moreover, if the transaction was performed online simply based on magnetic strip data (without an emv chip) or without 3D-Secure, then the payment systems will take the side of the cardholder in the dispute. But the laws differ in different countries; in some, you have 60 days, and in others, you only have one day (for example, Russia). So if you do not notice and report fraud during the period allowed by law, then your bank will have to decide whether to refund the money. If the bank refuses to refund the money (although the rules of payment systems indicate 120 days), then you cannot complain either to Visa or MasterCard.
7. Tell us a secret: which card is in your wallet? Visa or MasterCard? Why?
Both. Personally I don’t have preferences. It makes no difference for a card holder unless you travel a lot and want to escape double conversion for payments, if your national currency is not Euro and the US dollars. Cards of both brands are accepted all around the world, though there are exclusions such as China and some African countries, where sometimes either Visa or MasterCard will work.
8. Any good online resources you can recommend to stay safe in the cyberworld that parents can share with their kids?
Here are some good resources to help you and your kids to educate yourself and avoid internet frauds:
- The National Cyber Security Alliance provides tools for families and businesses to use the internet safely (in cooperation with the US National Homeland Security)
- The Business Software Alliance educates parents and children about internet frauds and safety. It also offers safety games and puzzles for children to solve.
- GetNetWise gives parents the resources they need to teach both themselves and their children about staying safe online.
- com might be very helpful not for your kids, but to check credit reports of your elderly parents to make sure no fake accounts have been opened in their names.
- In case of concerns, your readers in the US can get some free help from the AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center at 800-646-2283.
Dmitry Artimovich is a leading expert on online payment systems with over 15 years of experience. He is a popular keynote speaker at international FinTech and PayTech events and is called a “Russian hacker” by the world’s largest news sources (The New York Times, Associated Press). Recently Dmitry published his first book, “ONLINE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS.” He shares more in this interview, my favorite part of the interview is where Dmitry talks how to escape the Internet frauds… it’s something you won’t want to miss!