For Online Retailers
The Forter Fraud Attack Guide
The first half of 2017 saw double the number of fraud attacks as the first half of 2015. Brands, beware: Online fraud is rampant. But on the other hand, the frightening spikes seen in 2016 have dispersed, replaced by a new normal. How does this affect your industry? Here's a quick primer.
ELECTRONICS: In an otherwise stable year, the electronics sector is the 2017 domestic outlier. Increasing by 62% domestically, this industry has seen its online fraud attack rate rise at a time when others are stabilizing or decreasing. Electronics are attractive to fraudsters since they’re relatively pricey and widely popular, with an active market of third-party sellers online and consumers who are used to buying from diverse stores.
APPAREL: Online fraud attacks against apparel sites went down 10% in comparison to 2016. Despite a slight rise over the course of 2017, the calmer trend reflects that apparel sites are no longer the preferred fraudster alternative to luxury sites (which had increased their fraud prevention), as had been the case in 2016. In 2017 apparel sites stepped up their own protections and achieved the desired results: less fraud.
JEWELRY & LUXURY: Luxury brands experienced fewer attacks, with a decrease of 20% domestically and 43% internationally. Fraudsters like luxury goods for their value, so retailers should invest in fraud prevention to help manage the problem effectively. Some criminals will always target luxury for its price tag. Others will go after this sector for how challenging it is to infiltrate.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: After a bad start to the year, online fraud attacks against food decreased by 17% over 2017, resulting overall in a 117% increase compared to the start of 2016. Fraudsters don't typically target this sector because they want food, but to test if stolen payment tools work: “card/wallet testing.” Food sites are popular sandboxes to prepare for larger future theft. Retailers who can’t block this experimentation lose out.
TRAVEL: The big picture for travel is that it has reflected the same steadying trend seen generally over 2017. Internationally, this is also true on the quarterly level. Domestically things are slightly more complex, with more volatility over the year. Travel tends to be targeted by fraudsters who specialize in this industry, so the fluctuation may reflect the actions and attempts of “expert” groups trying out different things during the year.
DIGITAL GOODS: Digital goods fit the stabilizing pattern of 2017. Since they're popular with fraudsters for their instant gratification, digital goods sites tend to ensure they are protected. Therefore, the initial spike of criminals trying their luck in this attractive field receded as newbies realized the challenges. As goods in this sector are often relatively low-value, if time or effort is required then fraudsters look elsewhere. This could explain the decrease in attacks.
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That’s great! Keep an eye on it, though - the sophistication of the online criminal ecosystem has led to criminals specializing in different areas, making more advanced tools and even some basic machine learning for attacks.
You’re not alone! The sophistication of the online criminal ecosystem has led to criminals specializing in different areas, making more advanced tools and even some basic machine learning for attacks.
Has your business seen fraud attacks increase in sophistication over 2017?
2017 has shown a spike in attacks by repeat fraudsters - a rise of 66%
2017 has shown a spike in attacks by repeat fraudsters: a rise of 66%
Fraud attacks against electronic goods rose domestically by 62% in 2017
Domestic attack rate has decreased 4%
Sites are starting to suffer more from non-professional fraudsters. In 2017 there was 3 times more policy abuse
The spike has finally ended
Fraud Attack Index