The holiday season from Black Friday through New Year is open season for online fraudsters. It’s a great time to exploit pressures on the supply chain — the high volume of purchases, payments, shipping, and returns — to launch larger and more sophisticated attacks.
According to the seventh edition of Forter’s Fraud Attack Index, fraud attacks are up in some of the most popular categories of holiday spending. Gift cards for instance, on the wish list for 59% of us, remain a fraudster’s dream target. Fraud attacks are up 44% in apparel and accessories – and up 61% in air travel.
Online merchants need to balance conflicting goals: Catch holiday fraudsters before they cash out, while ensuring they don’t block (and insult) legitimate customers.
This is easier said than done, for many enterprise merchants. The influx of holiday traffic and alerts can overwhelm traditional fraud systems that rely on rules and teams of manual reviewers. The challenges intensify as the holiday season skews buying patterns:
- Legitimate customers have gifts shipped to others, which means more mismatches of shipping and billing addresses.
- Holiday season shoppers make international shipments and buy things they normally wouldn’t, such as jewelry and gift cards.
- Last-minute shoppers expect expedited shipping, which carries double or triple the fraud risk of standard shipping.
Legacy systems based on rules and niche fraud tools could flag these valid purchases as suspicious. Understanding the broader holiday context is vital.
Forter takes an entirely different approach to fraud prevention:
- An integrated platform protects the entire customer journey – from sign-up to login, coupon redemption, checkout and returns – and addresses the spectrum of online fraud tactics.
- Humans and machines join forces, combining patented technology and massive data resources with human expertise, custom-tailoring, and ongoing research.
Analytic advances such as soft linking, identity piercing, and geolocation intelligence enable Forter to find more fraud while smoothing the way for good customers. In fact, we probably already know them; more than 96% of online transactions in the US are made by customers already known to our system.
Forter’s fully automated fraud prevention solution means merchants and their customers can have a holly, jolly holiday season.