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Trading online has many great advantages. It’s easy, efficient and cost effective and opens you up to a world of diamonds and inventory which would otherwise be difficult to access. However, as with all business matters where money and high value items change hands, you must be sure to trade smart in order to avoid falling victim to would-be fraudsters.

Just as with offline trading, trading diamonds online can attract opportunists and thieves, so it is vital to be as vigilant with cyber security as the security measures you take to protect your physical diamonds. Being informed and aware of the types of fraud, phishing scams and cyber hackers that exist can help you become sufficiently prepared to protect yourself from becoming a victim.

The most common method of online fraud is email. Imposters hack into email accounts, then send trick emails disguised as bone fide companies to unsuspecting buyers, requesting payment using false bank wire information.

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Here are some basic but important tips to help you trade safely online:

Email Fraud

 Be aware that Gmail in particular has been proven to be vulnerable to this kind of fraud, so you may wish to use a different email account for your business trading.

Quick Tips:

  • Do not rely on email communication alone to send money or ship a diamond. Always confirm via telephone before wiring or shipping goods.
  • Take extra precaution in the case of a first time customer/supplier OR if the shipping address or bank details of an existing customer changes.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, insist on escrow.
  • Check emails carefully for inconsistencies in sender names.

Click here for more tips on avoiding email fraud.

Phishing Scams

Phishing is a form of online identity theft by tricking people into submitting personal information to illegitimate websites. The emails will closely resemble an email you may actually receive from a company, but often the sender address doesn’t exactly match the usual addresses used by that company. These emails will often use scare tactics such as “your account has expired” to put pressure on a person to login and check their account. However, you should always be suspicious of these emails and be sure to check the sender address. It is also recommended that you contact the company directly by phone to double check if the content of the email is in fact legitimate, before completing any forms with personal information.

Quick Tips:

  • Check emails carefully for inconsistencies in sender names. 
  • If the email redirects you to a site where you are asked to enter password information, be very cautious. 
  • Make it a habit to check the address of the website that you are redirected to. A secure website always starts with “https”. 

Click here for more tips on avoiding phishing scams.

Trade Smart

Here are some best practice trading tips that will help you trade smart and stay safe.

  1. Know who you are dealing with. Before trading with any buyer or seller, always check the member directory and research their company details.
  2. Always double-check bank and shipping details before sending payment or shipping.
  3. Email is not the safest way to trade, so always confirm via telephone before wiring money or shipping goods.
  4. Be cautious of buyers or sellers using free email accounts like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail, as these are the easiest to hack.

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Being a victim of online fraud is rare, but does occasionally happen. By following the basic advice above, staying vigilant and keeping yourself informed, you will go a long way to protecting yourself from becoming a potential victim.