On an almost-daily basis, the Internet and mobile markets add different ways to sell products. In turn, for consumers, venues for spending money online continually increase, and with so many sites using credit card information for sales, it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of the sites that hold one’s credit card information on file. With this important code so readily available in so many places, the chances become greater that users’ identities be compromised. BillGuard, a new financial security startup, is here to shut that down, and we’re all part of the solution.
Founded by Yaron Samid and Raphael Ouzan (pictured above), BillGuard sends reports to users about their credit card activity, flagging possibly-unwanted transactions. Users register their credit cards on the site, and BillGuard emails those users whenever its system identifies something as suspicious. But unlike what a bank does, BillGuard takes information not only from what has been charged to your account, but what is being charged to and flagged by others as well. If an individual’s credit card is hacked through a fraudulent scam, and that person reports the scam online - either with their bank or on a public forum - BillGuard takes note. If you, as a BillGuard user, then run into that same scam, the system will alert you. Collectively, the community solves individual problems. This could include something as malicious as a scam or online fraud, as well as something like an untouched magazine subscription or a gym membership that has been constantly rolled over month-by-month.
Users have the added option of going onto the site and marking the transactions as valid or questionable. They can then clear some of the legitimate purchases that were flagged. That way, BillGuard can see more clearly which items its customers are buying, and it can filter the good from the bad more effectively. BillGuard will then take in the information about the bad purchases and inform others about them in the future.
Warning people about fraudulent charges isn’t much different than what a credit card report from a bank offers, but the communal supply of information sets BillGuard apart from the banks. Instead of having to react every time we get scammed, we can use the information we already have as a society to get in front of them. As we continue to spend money online, this is an invaluable tool. Teamwork is a beautiful thing.