What is Triangulation Fraud | chargebackhit.com

Triangulation Fraud


Triangulation fraud, or triangle fraud, is a deceptive scheme where a customer makes a legitimate purchase on a third-party marketplace, like eBay or Amazon. At the same time, an intermediary fraudster acts as a seller. This fraudster then dishonestly acquires the product from another genuine merchant using stolen cardholder data and ships it to the unsuspecting customer. The name “triangulation” stems from the three parties involved: the fraudster middleman, the genuine customer, and the legitimate merchant.

The key players in triangulation fraud include the scammer, the legitimate customer, and a digital storefront. The fraudster exploits the eCommerce buying process by posing as a merchant and taking orders. Still, instead of maintaining their own inventory, they use stolen cardholder information to purchase goods from a third-party seller for shipment to the buyer.

The complexity of this fraud is intentional, making tracking down the source of deception much more challenging, allowing the scammers to exploit this lack of scrutiny to their advantage. As our online activities increase, including shopping and sharing private information, such attacks are becoming more prevalent, making it vital for individuals and businesses to be aware of these schemes and have robust response plans in place. By understanding the risks and staying vigilant, we can better protect ourselves from falling victim to triangulation fraud and similar online scams.