How consumers can avoid fraud amid big sales week for Amazon, Walmart

  • With e-commerce surging during the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Day and the 2020 holiday season may be the perfect hunting ground for online fraudsters.
  • Business Insider spoke with Amazon’s former Director of Corporate Development Aaron Barfoot, who now serves as the chief financial officer of online security firm Forter. 
  • “Good online hygiene means paying attention and being alert,” Barfoot said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s a potential nightmare for anyone who’s ever shopped online: checking your bank account or credit card statement to find that a cybercriminal has stolen your identity and run up a huge bill.

During Amazon’s two-day Prime Day sales event and the upcoming 2020 holiday season, that’s a scenario that could become reality for more shoppers than ever before. Former Amazon Director of Corporate Development Aaron Barfoot — who now serves as chief financial officer for online fraud prevention firm Forter — said that 2020 may prove to be an especially risky year for online shoppers, thanks to the surge in online purchases during the coronavirus pandemic.

Forter estimates that transactions by first-time online shoppers have spiked from between 4% to 5% last year to around 10% to 14% in 2020. The overall increase in online transactions makes it “easier for a fraudster to hide,” Barfoot said. In its annual fraud report tracking e-commerce transactions, Forter also found that fraud pertaining to “buy-online-and-pickup-in-store” orders has already increased 55% year-over-year.

“More new customers are going online for the first time,” Barfoot told Business Insider. “Once those new customers are online, they are more susceptible to fraud.”

Those looking to prey upon the influx of inexperienced e-commerce shoppers — especially elderly customers and those without the digital savvy to create strong passwords — come armed with a playbook of fraudulent moves. Hussein Ahmad, CEO of digital

What Marketers Can Learn From Consumers’ Response To The Pandemic

Alon Ghelber is CMO at Revuze; an AI StartUp analyzing customer reviews & delivering product insights to optimize decision-making.

While most businesses suffer hardships from time to time, the pandemic has only increased the frightening dominance of giants like Alibaba and Amazon. Many people are relying on online services right now, and e-commerce businesses have seen strong competition in both the East and the West markets.

When analyzing e-commerce opinions around the world, my team at Revuze witnessed some differences in how retail and e-commerce have adjusted across Europe and North America vs. Asia-Pacific.

In this article, I will cover the similarities and differences of e-commerce strategies for the East and the West amid the pandemic, and what marketers can take away.

The Impact Of Covid-19 On Businesses Around The World

The pandemic is shaking up businesses and consumer behavior (subscription required) on a massive scale. Around 20% of small and medium-sized companies may have to close their businesses for good, according to Marion Jansen, chief economist of the United Nation’s International Trade Centre.

Meanwhile, the pandemic is pushing industries to e-commerce. Businesses that can embrace digital transformation on time can actually benefit from the pandemic. For example, traditional businesses and plenty of stores are moving online (subscription required), and more can learn from the retail giants and start to use digital platforms to serve their customers.

The impact of the post-pandemic economy on businesses worldwide is inevitable. In both the East and the West, the pandemic has taken a toll on the fashion industry, with an expected 27% to 30% (subscription required) decrease in global revenue in 2020. But there are also some differences between e-commerce in the East and the West.

E-Commerce In The East

Overall, Asia has seen significant growth in e-commerce since the pandemic

Yelp rolls out new tactic to warn consumers about businesses accused of ‘overtly racist actions’

Yelp has a zero tolerance policy for racism.

The company, which publishes and aggregates crowd-sourced business reviews, announced Thursday it will be placing a new “Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert” on Yelp pages to warn users about businesses that have been said to display “overtly racist actions.” They will also include a direct link to a news article for consumers to learn more about the reported incident.

SUPPORT BLACK BUSINESSES: These black-owned Houston restaurants need your support during the COVID-19 crisis

“We know these values are important to our users and now more than ever, consumers are increasingly conscious of the types of businesses they patronize and support,” Noorie Malik, vice president of user operations, wrote in a blog post. “In fact, we’ve seen that reviews mentioning Black-owned businesses were up more than 617% this summer compared to last summer. Support for women-owned businesses has also increased, with review mentions up 114% for the same time period.”

Malik said that as the nation continues to be affected by systemic racism, Yelp feels an obligation to help consumers make better decisions before spending their hard-earned dollars with businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions.

“So far in 2020, we’ve seen a 133% increase in the number of media-fueled incidences on Yelp compared to the same time last year,” said Malik.


Malik wrote that between May 26, a day after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, and September 30, a week after the Breonna Taylor verdict was announced, Yelp has placed more than 450 alerts on business pages that were either accused of or the target of racist behavior related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Gold | Branded Website for Consumers, 2020 – MM+M Awards – MM&M

Alcon and 2e

AcrySof IQ PanOptix Trifocal Lens U.S. Patient Website

Some might think getting cataract surgery is just one more problem that comes with aging. But Alcon’s introduction of the AcrySof IQ PanOptix Trifocal Lens turns that surgery into a revolutionary opportunity. The lens offers unprecedented vision enhancement for people with cataracts, giving them control of their health by investing in their vision. 

Calling this sense of renewed possibility “PanOptimism,” the team started with an existing site, MyCataracts.com, an unbranded website with generalized surgery information. And it transformed it into a branded place that could drive conversation about the benefits of clear, complete vision.

Starting with extensive research and insights, including a study on the willingness to pay for advanced technology intraocular lenses, 2e worked closely with SEO and digital partners to combine analytics and competitive analysis with messaging strategy. It dove into patient mindsets, consumer search behavior research, companion digital media strategy and content planning.

A key insight? That adults between the ages of 62 and 74, two to three months before cataract surgery, want a life that makes them feel uncompromised and fully engaged. And they’re willing to pay a premium to get it. So rather than simply providing answers to cataract-surgery questions, it offers an emotional connection to renewed vision. It uses a branded story to educate patients on the opportunities of cataract surgery, fully realized by the PanOptix Lens.

With a vision simulator, surgeon locator, educational and testimonial videos, downloadable resources and an inspirational focus on possibility, it is the essence of “PanOptimism.”

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French Consumers Encouraged to Stop Spending on New Smartphones

(Bloomberg) — France is preparing incentives for consumers to shift spending habits to used electronics, in an attempt to lower the impact on the environment and provide a boost to local ecommerce startups.



a person holding a bag and walking on a sidewalk: A pedestrian uses a smartphone while wearing a protective face mask outside the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE luxury goods store in Place Vendome, in Paris, France, on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The euro-area economy may be headed for its first recession in seven years as the coronavirus outbreak takes an increasing toll on businesses and consumer confidence.


© Bloomberg
A pedestrian uses a smartphone while wearing a protective face mask outside the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE luxury goods store in Place Vendome, in Paris, France, on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The euro-area economy may be headed for its first recession in seven years as the coronavirus outbreak takes an increasing toll on businesses and consumer confidence.

The government said it will deploy a scoring system on devices’ re-usability from January, and will set aside 21 million euros ($25 million) from its stimulus plan to fund re-usability startups and projects.

Environment minister Barbara Pompili and her colleague for Digital Affairs, Cedric O, told Bloomberg that the government is in talks to boost second-hand purchasing, but didn’t detail the plans which are still being finalized. O said a new form of tax on goods was unlikely because companies would shift the cost on consumers.



a person standing in front of a table: A customer tries a Redmi Note 5 display model smartphone inside a Xiaomi Corp. store in Paris, France, on Friday, May 25, 2018. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi opened it's first store in Paris and plans for more shops in France, Spain and Italy, testing the appetite of consumers in developed markets as its executives consider a U.S. expansion.


© Bloomberg
A customer tries a Redmi Note 5 display model smartphone inside a Xiaomi Corp. store in Paris, France, on Friday, May 25, 2018. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi opened it’s first store in Paris and plans for more shops in France, Spain and Italy, testing the appetite of consumers in developed markets as its executives consider a U.S. expansion.

Read More: Porsche, Ferrari Cars Face $59,000 Gas Guzzlers Tax in France

“We want to incite people who want to buy a handset to think first about refurbished ones,” Pompili said.

Selling refurbished handsets has been a long-standing business. Both Apple Inc. and Samsung offer second-hand phones on their websites, and the global market for used smartphones is expected to