There was a time when the description of “online fraud” was fairly straightforward (using a stolen credit card to make a purchase) as was the solution for stopping it (study the fraudulent behavior and set up business logic to prevent it from happening again). But new business models and rapidly changing technology mean fraud and abuse affect a wider swathe of businesses, in a wider variety of ways, than ever before. In fact, fraud is a trust issue inherent to all kinds of online businesses, not just e-commerce.
Trust is the digital currency of the internet, enabling the flow of goods, services, and information online. Every single website that sells goods or services, every site that provides a platform for people to exchange things or ideas, must also make hundreds – or even thousands – of “trust decisions” every single day. But what is a trust decision? Basically, it all boils down to answering a simple question: Can I trust this user?
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