Security and Risk Online: Get ahead of online fraud this holiday season

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Holiday shopping has changed a lot in the last few years with major online shopping events from around the world gaining popularity in Australia. This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were one of the biggest online shopping days in Australia, kicking off the pre-Christmas rush. Cyber Monday broke records in the US hitting US$3.45 billion in online sales, up 12 per cent from last year with Australia and the rest of the world following suit.

But with the increase in online holiday shopping comes a commensurate increase in the instances of fraud. Australian internet businesses suffer dramatically more card fraud than the global average, with online fraud rising by 38% between 2014 — 2015, compared to the global average of 13%.

It’s a lesser-known quirk of the financial industry that, unlike their brick-and-mortar counterparts, online businesses are responsible for not only detecting fraud, but also paying the associated costs. On average, every $1 of fraudulent orders costs an online business an additional $2.69. A couple of weeks ago a foreign syndicate was busted by the Australian Federal Police for the theft of more than 30,000 Australian credit cards, spending more than $30 million. A hefty sum, for sure, but nothing close to the US$32 billion that online retailers spent preventing and remediating hacks in 2015. Online businesses are also susceptible to a wider range of fraud schemes, including credit card fraud, payout scams and faux refunds.

So as the holiday sales kick off, what can online businesses do about it?

The basics: getting started with fraud prevention

To begin, businesses should examine the address verification code (a postcode that matches what’s on file with the cardholder’s bank), require a card verification code (the 3- or 4-digit code on their card), and delay shipping. The latter step is especially helpful for expensive items, as it provides a safety window when the actual cardholder might flag a large fraudulent purchase.

However, these checks aren’t foolproof: Legitimate customers can easily enter a typo in their street address or move and forget to update their billing zip code, resulting in false positives, and fraudsters are often able to buy stolen credit card numbers together with their card verification codes.

The next step is manual reviews: Many business rely on employees to audit transactions and create complex, custom rules (such as, “temporarily block all orders over $500 until reviewed and approved”). All of this sound pretty complicated and manual. The answer? Machine learning.

Let machines do the heavy-lifting

Thanks to recent advances in machine learning and AI, businesses today can analyse millions of online transactions and identify buying patterns across large numbers of retailers, spotting outliers in real-time and flagging odd charges long before a human analyst would spot a problem.

Sift Science offers machine-learning-based fraud detection trained on a business’s data; other tools like Riskified and Signifyd offer chargeback insurance, screening every charge for a fee, blocking suspicious purchase, and compensating their customers when they failed to block fraud.

Stripe’s fraud tool, Radar, constantly learns from the hundreds of thousands of businesses taking payments through Stripe around the world. This new approach enabled Watsi, a global funding platform for medical treatments, to block more than $40 million in attempted fraud over a two-month span, all with limited to no human involvement.

Don’t leave money on the table

Of course, the difficulty with fraud is that pre-emptively blocking too many transactions means foregoing legitimate purchases too. In theory, you could prevent fraud from Southeast Asia by blocking all transactions from Southeast Asia; but that approach means you’d also be foregoing legitimate transactions from one of the world’s most populous regions.

So even once you’ve implemented tools for preventing fraud, it’s important to remember that your ultimate goal isn’t blocking fraud — it’s maximizing revenue. This means you should:

  1. Consider multiple metrics: Don’t just focus on one metric like false positive rate (legitimate transactions that you’re blocking) or dispute rate. After all, you can easily make the former zero by not trying to catch any fraud (and the latter zero by not accepting any payments). Your overall fraud protection approach will offer a trade-off between false positives and false negatives, and you should understand what that trade-off is and what is optimal for your business. This break-even calculator can give you an example of the kind of calculations it can be helpful to do.
  1. Find your “healthy” dispute rate: Unsurprisingly, fraud varies by sector. For example, the median fraud rate for retail is 0.02 per cent, while for nonprofits it’s 0.1%. Once you know your industry’s rate, compare it to your business’ unique situation and data to identify a “healthy” fraud benchmark. Trying to drive your dispute rate far below what is natural for your sector can be more effort than it’s worth.
  1. Always be measuring: No matter what solution you choose, be rigorous in assessing efficacy. For example, if you’re manually customising rules, you can evaluate their performance by backtesting them or by running A/B tests in real-time. Don’t rely on intuition that tells you all payments from a certain region, or at a certain time of day, are fraudulent. Formulate your hypothesis and validate it with data!

On the internet, the only constant is change itself. As consumer behaviour and fraud schemes continue to evolve, businesses that want to maximise their revenue this holiday season — and year round — should be using modern fraud defences that can adapt and help them stay a step ahead of fraudsters.

Cyber-attacks by: hacker group Anonymous on the rise in Japan

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks launched to protest dolphin hunting.

A masked hacker, part of the Anonymous group, hacks the French presidential Elysee Palace website in this 2012 file photo. The group is said to be behind a growing number of attacks in Japan.  (JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO)

Cyber-attacks against targets in Japan, apparently carried out by international hacker group Anonymous, have been increasing since September.

Last autumn, a number of government websites and other sites came under attack.

However, the recent attacks are different from sophisticated cyber-attacks that aim to steal information.

Experts call for people to respond calmly by taking necessary steps in advance without fearing them too much.

Late at night on Sept. 3, the website of the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims became inaccessible.

Shortly after, a group saying it was Anonymous and opposed to dolphin hunting and other issues, posted a statement online claiming responsiblity.

An official at the memorial hall said in bewilderment: “We have nothing to do with dolphin hunting.”

It is believed a series of Anonymous attacks, called Operation Killing Bay, started around 2013 in protest against Japan’s whale hunting and the annual dolphin hunts in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, in September.

Last year, to protest against the dolphin hunting in Taiji, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks were launched against government offices websites and infrastructure operators such as airports. DDoS attacks are aimed at rendering websites and other online services unavailable by sending a huge amount of data to the server.

According to police, the number of cyber-attacks Anonymous is believed to be involved in has grown since September. There were no cyber-attack-related website problems from May to August, but 29 incidents were confirmed in September, followed by 26 in October. From Nov. 1 to Nov. 27, there were 53 cases, bringing the total from September to Nov. 27 to 108.

In comparison, incidents ranged between the 10s and 20s each month from September to November last year, but rose to 56 in December.

“Their aim is not to make websites unavailable, but to promote their presence,” said Nobuhiro Tsuji, senior security researcher at SoftBank Technology Corp.

This year, the targets of the attacks have conspicuously been small organizations and shops such as izakaya Japanese pubs, and groups totally unrelated to dolphin hunting.

“The hackers could be different from last year, and their resources could be smaller,” Tsuji said.

When Anonymous started around 2006, it advocated the establishment of the freedom of the Internet and made political appeals through legally permitted activities such as street demonstrations.

Now, Anonymous tends to carry out cyber-attacks with the aid of unknown individuals who respond to invitations on Twitter and other websites.

The website of the Kasumigaura river office of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry came under attack in 2012. Anonymous is believed to have confused Kasumigaura with Tokyo’s bureaucratic district of Kasumigaseki.

Anonymous’ main attack method, DDoS, can be committed without significant expertise. There is almost no way to defend against such attacks. It is a matter of waiting for an attack to cease, although measures have recently been developed to mitigate damage.

“Compared to cyber-attacks aimed at stealing information, DDoS attacks are not so sophisticated. In most cases, the websites attacked went down and that was it,” said Masakatsu Morii, a professor at Kobe University specializing in information and telecommunications engineering.

Some observers point out that such cyber-attack could increase ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Morii said, “It is important that companies and organizations take necessary measures calmly. If they are attacked, they should respond coolly without overreacting.”

Celebs draw fentanyl addict headlines by Insurance Fraud Advocacy

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Reminds that insurance fraud helps finance opioid epidemic

First came Prince, who died from an overdose of the painkiller fentanyl in his Minnesota home.

Next came singer Chaka Khan. She beat the reaper by entering into rehab this month, along with her sister

The Grammy winner admitted fentanyl is her escape drug of choice. Chaka wisely gave up her summer concert appearances to focus on getting clean.

“The battle of addiction is a serious and long process, which is why I chose to address my use of prescription medications — which came about as a result of the knee surgery I had a few years ago,” she said.

Fentanyl is one of latest prescription painkillers to grab headlines. It’s used for severe pain, and is approved for long term treatment. The stuff also is up to 100 times stronger than morphine, and 50 times stronger than heroin.

Fentanyl quickly shoots into the bloodstream. Dopamine then elevates, stoking the brain’s reward areas. The sweet euphoria grows into dependence, then addiction.

States like New Jersey and Mississippi are reporting spikes in fentanyl overdose deaths.

Insurance fraud is the largely untold story. It’s helping finance America’s epidemic of opioid addiction — billions of stolen insurance dollars worth.

Some fentanyl addicts reportedly are scamming health insurers to score prescriptions that feed the need. Same with other painkillers such as hydrocodone, or anti-anxiety meds and muscle relaxants.

Insurance scams may or may not have funded Prince’s or Chaka’s highs. Yet scams still are part of the bigger opioid picture, so we should be very concerned.

Insurers are stepping up investigations, plus education of doctors and patients to head off addiction. Law enforcement is going after shady pain clinics and pharmacies that dole out insurer-paid scripts.

Still, we risk getting exhausted by it all. We’re subject to steady parades of news stories about people dying from insurance-paid overdoses. Plus welcome busts of cold-blooded pain docs. They’re keeping addicts fed with pills — are we getting fed up?

Sadly, it may take a celeb’s drug death or rehab to keep headlines fresh and the public concerned. Let’s stay concerned, whether it’s a Grammy winner or small-town factory worker just trying to get clean.

Installation & Maintenance Instructions For ‘S’ Series Hot Water Boilers

Pensotti Quality Heating Boilers and Panel Radiators

PNA, Inc. is proud to supply you and our network of dealers with the high quality PENSOTTI Model ‘S’ Cast Iron Boiler throughout the North American marketplace. We are confident that your purchase of the PENSOTTI home comfort package will provide years of efficient, economical, trouble-free operation.

“Quality remains long after the price is forgotten”.

The PENSOTTI ‘S’ boiler is a high efficiency residential heating appliance that provides maximum energy utilization and the highest efficiency, without the maintenance and operations problems and high purchase and installation costs of condensing boilers.

Fuel cost savings can only be achieved by matching the PENSOTTI ‘S’ boiler to the true heat loss of your residence. During the past couple of decades, the trend towards improving wall and ceiling insulation levels and eliminating air infiltration by caulking and weather-stripping, has made most existing heating appliances oversized.

When you purchase a PENSOTTI home comfort system your new appliance will be sized on the basis of the new heat loss calculation. This will ensure that your new PENSOTTI home comfort system will deliver only the amount of heat required to match your actual home’s heating demand. We want to provide you with the maximum comfort level achievable combined with the highest fuel cost savings.

The following are useful bits of information presented under a series of sub-headings.

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (A.F.U.E.)

The A.F.U.E. is a measure of the estimated ability of a heating appliance to extract heat from the fuel, based on a full heating season. The A.F.U.E. increases as the burner on time increases until it reaches ‘steady-state efficiency’. Steady state is the efficiency of the appliance measured when the burner is running. Any time the burner cycles on and off, the A.F.U.E. drops because of “off-cycle” losses. The A.F.U.E. drops most sharply when the heating plant operates between 10 and 30% burner on time. An increase in the percentage of burner on time improves the A.F.U.E.

A General Comment

 The PENSOTTI Model ‘S’ boiler is a high quality, efficient oilfired heating appliance, which must be installed and serviced by a trained and if required licensed service technician. Oilfired installations should be installed in accordance with NFPA31 and NFPA211 when no local code is in effect. Be sure that the installation is according to all National, State and local codes and authorities having jurisdiction over heating, electrical, plumbing and oil burner systems. Read Full Content  (PDF)

Anti-Fraud Organization Tokyo, Japan Purpose

Generally Japan Japan Company Trust, by providing a real proof of Japanese companies overseas, the company’s confidence in the more reliable ones, to help to advance the business smoothly, contributing to the development of international trade in Japan it aims at.

Now that online business has become the mainstream, jumping over the border if they have PC, it enables a wide variety of transactions, is no longer a business is a global era. But along with also high risk that at the same time easy to get involved in Internet fraud. Since online business is not a face ­to­ face transactions, it will not be able to check only the presence of the other companies only in the image and description of the web site.

So, JCTO is confirmed by the or a commercial copy of the registration or the like exists in the location that has been posted on the web site without any business in Japan is a mistake, we will provide information the information of the business in the web site. In addition, by posting JCTO trust seal to your web site, you can appeal your company’s reliability. The company side of the overseas by doing so it is possible to prevent in advance the fraudulent trouble, also enterprise side of Japan will be able to provide the peace of mind and confidence. JCTO in both, we believe that it is possible to provide a safety and reliable business.

Harmony Chinese Takeaway Review: Top Class Chinese Food in Southbourne

There were a lot of reviews about Harmony Chinese Takeaway available on the internet, and to add further details about the takeaway restaurant, this particular post will provide the experience and feedbacks of individuals who traveled a long way just to order the foods of the restaurant, in short, patience and determined visitors from various areas.

We gathered their reviews and one said that the foods at Harmony were the best on Christmas Eve. Many families enjoy Chinese foods on such occasion and we found out that recommendations from different customers brought them to the restaurant to try it out. For those people, Christmas is not the same without the top quality Chinese food of Harmony Chinese Takeaway.

A certain review also explains how it was spotlessly clean at the takeaway and how they received a warm welcome from the staff. Most of them never imagined that Harmony follows high standards when it comes to their food. They were moved by how the staff always gives them a good chat because they never thought that taking their order would turn out into a meaningful conversation with different people.

There’s also this review that tells how kind the staff was. His friend was in a wheelchair that time and the staff did not think twice in helping them get into their car. They praised the excellent customer service of Harmony Chinese Takeaway. This takeaway has more than your favorite food but it also has a friendly mood inside with a polite and honest staff.

Hawkfield Gallery Fine Arts Consultants Review the Visual Arts and Culture

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The landscape of the art industry continually changes due to the rapid evolution of technology. Technological innovations have provided artists with new tools to express themselves and their ideas. Though the digital art was of great deal in this modern era, traditional art still remains vital to a society and to a country’s culture.

If you are an art lover and a collector visiting Massachusetts, you won’t want to miss exploring Hawkfield Consultants Gallery which is located along Boston’s South Shore, midway between Cape Cod and Boston. The gallery is open for viewing by appointment and features an eclectic variety of American fine arts and folk arts from 20th and 21st century. Bronze sculptures, mini decorative carved decoys of birds and American impressionism are among the many amazing works displayed in Hawkfield artworks section.

You are welcome to visit and browse their online art catalogue which contains clear and realistic images of artworks available for sale. Art consultants of Hawkfield will gladly assist you throughout the whole process whether you are going to sell your artwork or buy one. Each of the artworks displayed on their site has corresponding prices and specifications. Hawkfield Gallery uses a sales comparison approach and considers recent auction results when determining the fair market value of an artwork.

The gallery is managed by Sally Caverly – an art lover, researcher and conservationist who spends more than two decades collecting impressive arts. She holds a B.A degree in Marketing and later on marched for a Master’s degree in Education. Moreover, Sally serves as a Market Research Division Director of a major publishing house.

Visit the About the Gallery page of the Hawkfield’s site to get an idea to the type of service the gallery provides as well as the artists they seek and represented.