Mumbai: TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) latest quarterly analysis of global online fraud trends found that since the COVID-19 pandemic began, fraudsters are increasing their digital schemes against businesses.

TransUnion came to its conclusions about fraud against businesses based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 global websites and apps contained in its flagship identity proofing, risk-based authentication and fraud analytics solution suite – TransUnion TruValidate™.

These websites and apps have traffic coming from all the countries across the globe including India. It found the percent of suspected fraudulent digital transaction attempts against businesses originating from India increased 28.32 per cent when comparing the following two periods: Period #1 (March 11, 2019 and March 10, 2020); Period #2 (March 11, 2020 – when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic – and March 10, 2021).

“Fraudsters are always looking to take advantage of significant world events. The COVID-19 pandemic and its corresponding rapid digital acceleration brought about by stay at home orders is a global event unrivaled in the online age,” said Shaleen Srivastava, executive vice president and head of Fraud Solutions at TransUnion in India.

“By analyzing billions of transactions globally we screened for fraud indicators over the past year, it has become clear that the war against the virus has also brought about a war against digital fraud.”

In India across industries, TransUnion found that highest percent of suspected digital fraudulent transactions originated from following cities 1) Mumbai 2) Delhi and 3) Chennai.

Examining Fraud Types and Their Impact on Industries

TransUnion analyzed the below industries for a change in the percent of suspected digital fraud attempts against them coming from across the globe, comparing the periods of March 11, 2019 – March 10, 2020 and March 11, 2020 – March 10, 2021.

IndustrySuspected fraud change coming from IndiaGlobal suspected fraud change for industryTop type of fraud globally
Logistics224.13%4.87% Shipping Fraud 
Telecommunications200.47%57.52% Credit Card Fraud
Financial Services89.49%57.49% Identity Theft
Communities (online dating, forums, etc.)10.75%-11.10% Profile Misrepresentation
 Insurance-6.66%32.52% Ghost Broking
Gaming-13.00%48.40% Gold Farming
Retail-22.37%38.71% Promotion Abuse
Travel & Leisure-45.17%29.68% Credit Card Fraud
Suspected Digital Fraud Attempt Rate Post-Pandemic Declaration

Results showed a significant increase in attempted digital fraud originating from India against logistics companies. The level more than trebled (up 224 per cent) and has been a significant development during COVID-19 times. With more people shopping online during the pandemic, goods are having to be shipped and fraudsters know this so are targeting either redirecting genuine orders or alternatively placing fraudulent orders with compromised consumer accounts to genuine customer addresses, and then redirecting them once shipped.

Separately at a global level, through the TruValidate solution, TransUnion documented a 19 per cent growth in transactions among its global iGaming customers from 2019 to 2020, and recently researched its fraud impact in a special report. It determined that its online gambling customers experienced a 9 per cent increase in the rate of suspected fraud when comparing 2019 to 2020 among the hundreds of millions of iGaming transactions TransUnion analyzed for risk indicators last year.

Despite it being one of the hottest-growing industries, TransUnion observed a decrease in the iGaming mobile transaction rate across the globe for the first time since at least 2016. However, iGaming on mobile devices is still much higher than desktops with the percent of online gambling transactions coming from mobile devices at 69 per cent.

“Despite the rising level of attempted fraud globally, consumers demand businesses both protect their transactions and still maintain convenient digital experiences. The businesses that come out on top will be those that successfully balance both,” concluded Srivastava.

Also Read: Remote working making 70 per cent Indians feel more vulnerable to cyber threats

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