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Will your bank pay for online fraud?

Small ad plat­forms are often abused by Internet crim­i­nals for their illicit prac­tices. Users should take per­sonal respon­si­bility instead of relying on their bank to pay for any poten­tial losses.

Someone bought an elec­tronic item from Face­book Mar­ket­place, paying in advance. The goods never arrived – the payee turned out to be the mid­dleman of a gang of scam­mers. His bank did not accept any lia­bility on its part and refused the victim’s claim for compensation.

This case shows that small ad plat­form and online shop users should not rely on the finan­cial insti­tu­tions involved to check trans­ac­tions, even though they do apply a variety of screening processes to iden­tify and pre­vent fraud­u­lent remit­tances. But even though they are con­tin­u­ously improving these processes, there is no guar­antee that they will be able to expose fraud­u­lent activities.

Pro­tect your­self by taking the fol­lowing measures:

  • Remain gen­er­ally scep­tical when using small ad plat­forms. Check the seller’s infor­ma­tion as much as pos­sible. Don’t rely on the finan­cial insti­tu­tion paying or the one receiving your remit­tance to be able to iden­tify or pre­vent fraud­u­lent behaviour.
  • Only pay in advance if you are able to verify the payee or if the small ad plat­form used pro­vides ade­quate buyer pro­tec­tion (against fraud). Since the latter is hardly ever the case, you shouldn’t pay for any goods in advance if in doubt. Instead, try for instance to pick them up in person, so you can inspect and check the item before paying.


Fur­ther tips on how to pre­vent online fraud can be found on the Schweiz­erische Krim­i­nal­präven­tion SKP web­site: www.skppsc.ch/online-betrug.

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Find out about cur­rent Internet threats and some easy pro­tec­tive mea­sures, and how to securely use e-banking.

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Find out about mobile banking, mobile pay­ments and how to securely use these apps.

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Learn how to use your smart­phone securely. Next to basics, we will show you what you should know about social media, clouds, mobile banking and mobile payments.

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Is your organ­i­sa­tion suf­fi­ciently secure? Learn which mea­sures you can take to sig­nif­i­cantly strengthen your organisation’s IT security.

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