Avoiding Internet Fraud Starting Your Business

Ever thought about starting your own business? Perhaps you should create an internet business. Any new business venture comes along with risk but starting an online business can be particularly risky. Scammers might contact you to try and manipulate you into giving them something. Consequently, identifying and preventing cybercrime should be on every business owner’s radar.

Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to protect your business and clients. Here are ways you can use to prevent fraudulent behaviors and tricks when starting your business.

Avoiding Internet Fraud Starting Your Business

3D Secure (MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa)

You should use an extra security step known as 3D Secure to authenticate internet purchases. 3D Secure is a technical standard created by Visa and MasterCard International to protect online merchants from fraudulent transactions. Customers are asked to enter an additional password after checkout completion. It also protects your payment information when you shop online and pay with a credit card. 

The program works by verifying your identity in real-time through the use of a password. MasterCard brands their system as ‘MasterCard SecureCode,’ and Visa calls theirs ‘Verified by Visa.’ This service is available only on 3D Secure merchant sites. 3D Secure is a path towards more robust authentication that is technologically sound for your internet business.

Card Verification Value/Card Verification Code

Most online shopping outlets require the use of the CV2 number during checkout. For your protection, you too should ask customers to enter an extra 3-4 digit number called the CVC Code. Card Verification Value is a number that is printed on the back of a credit or debit card to establish the owner’s identity and minimize the risk of fraud.

Clients who provide a CVV during a transaction prove that they have the physical credit or debit card. This serves as an additional security feature when you’re receiving “card-not-present” payments. It also makes it more difficult for scammers to imagine random credit card numbers and use them to make purchases. Remember, you are prohibited from storing CVC2 (CVV2) codes even for a short time.

Address Verification Service

When clients shop at in-stores, they usually insert their credit cards into a POS terminal. If you are using a POS terminal, one of the challenges you’ll face is confirming that the person making the purchase is the actual cardholder. You can manage chargeback fraud and improve customer experience with verified addresses.

Credit card companies supply an Address Verification service for fraud prevention. The verification service compares the billing address submitted by the customer with the one on file with the issuing service. If they match, you can be more confident the customer is who they say they are. Similarly, you can use that information in your decision on whether or not to accept or cancel the order. Currently, all major credit cards in the United States use AVS.

Bogus Business Coaching Services

Business coaches are in high demand these days as more and more people look to online businesses. Spending a little bit of money on training could be what you need to jumpstart your business.

Low barriers to entry are allowing more people to anoint themselves as coaches. Some coaches claim a business coaching program will help you get going. But what if the coach doesn’t help, but actually hurts your interests? Unfortunately, there are several shady or questionable business practices perpetrated by coaches.

So, what can you do? First, speak with colleagues who’ve had experience working with online business coaches. If you must choose a coach, select former athletes, lawyers, business academics, and consultants.

Study Any Disclosure Documents

How can you find investors without giving your business idea away? One of the key documents that a potential business investor will ask for is a disclosure document. Disclosure agreements are legal documents, and if they are valid, they can be taken to court. The disclosure document outlines comprehensive information about the roles of the parties involved in a business transaction. If you don’t understand it, you’re exposing your business to unknown risks.

The challenge is harnessing this knowledge coherently and productively. Risk also exists when confidential information is disclosed to negotiate a business deal.

All essential issues and assumptions should be confirmed in the written contract. Begin by skimming the entire document and noting any clauses that contain blank spaces. Additionally, you will want a clear outline of the possible consequences. Consult with a lawyer before signing any disclosure agreement to make sure your interests are protected. An attorney will carefully analyze the language of the document and evaluate several different things. Don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion.


Starting an online business is a big investment. As a business owner, your understanding of the common scams targeting new internet businesses is key. You can take these steps to protect your business from online fraud.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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One comment

  1. When starting a business, you need to make sure that whatever you are getting yourself into is completely legitimate. Getting caught up in some sort of fraud will only be detrimental to your aspirations of starting and running a business.

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