Wednesday, 29 April 2020 10:11

PayPal reveals counter-offensive against criminals seeking to exploit COVID 19 pandemic Featured

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Online payments provider PayPal has revealed its counter-offensive against criminals who seek to take advantage of the COVID 19 pandemic, saying it is now actively working with law enforcement in Australia to identify and prevent opportunistic online crime.

PayPal reveals the measures it is taking in a new submission to the Australian Senate inquiry into financial and regulatory technology.

PayPal’s most recent letter to the Senate inquiry followed an earlier submission it made in January, which provided a broader perspective on the fintech landscape in Australia.

In its latest submission PayPal said on Wednesday it had told the Senate committee that cybercriminals and fraudsters have been quick to adapt, and that it has observed that they have already found ways to exploit consumers and small businesses.

And PayPal says it is “strongly equipped to fight back in countries like Australia where law enforcement agencies have been quick to share intelligence that we can use to monitor our platform”.

“We have taken action against websites in Australia that fraudulently claim to offer at home test kits and immunity tablets for COVID-19,” PayPal said.

“PayPal has taken actions against online businesses that have artificially inflated or gouged their prices on essential goods. Typical items include so-called defence kits (hand sanitizer, surgical masks and gloves), which are being sold at ten times their usual price.

“In Australia, we have observed unscrupulous players inflate prices on bottled water.”

PayPal submitted to the Senate Committee additional background on the activities of its financial crime unit, including:

  • When PayPal became an independent public company in 2015, the company undertook a significant transformation of its financial crime organisation.
  • PayPal made substantial investments in strengthening the department, its people and its practices to elevate it beyond the typical compliance function that might be found in other tech or financial services companies.
  • PayPal appointed former public prosecutors and law enforcement agents to reimagine the collaborative role a company like PayPal can play with law enforcement.
  • Today, PayPal’s Global Financial Crime and Customer Protection team is approximately 3,000 strong. PayPal takes a proactive approach to working with law enforcement and regulators to identify and prevent online financial crime.
  • The PayPal network is unique in that money can move between consumers and businesses entirely within our network, which means we can monitor a transaction from end-to-end on the PayPal platform.
  • A range of measures are being deployed to get ahead of online criminal activity, including enhanced transaction monitoring that detects unusual patterns in payments moving through the PayPal platform.
  • PayPal also harnesses key word tracking; suspicious matter reporting; sanctions and watch list enforcement; and sophisticated fraud detection models.
  • It is a combination of cutting-edge technology and manual investigatory work by the team of experts PayPal has assembled.
  • In tandem, PayPal is working to remove barriers so that genuine businesses and charities can ramp up their digital payments quickly as consumers under lockdown orders shift to buying online.
  • Australia is home to one of PayPal’s biggest customer bases with over 8 million active accounts.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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