Published: March 12, 2019
Reading time:  minute read
Written by: Forter Team

Online fraud is rapidly evolving, according to Forter’s newest Fraud Attack Index released today. Fraudsters and fraud attacks are dynamic as always, as both industries and attack methods see fluctuation and expansion. Forbes’ Tom Groenfeldt said, when writing about the report, “As online commerce grows, online fraud grows with it. Detection is not enough, you have to do something with the information.” To protect their businesses and their customers, e-commerce professionals need to stay on top of what has changed over the last year.

Fraud Attack Evolution Over 2018: Report Highlights

  • Attacks against the food and beverage industry have increased by 79%.
  • Online apparel attacks have increased 47%.
  • There’s been a 45% increase in account takeover attacks.
  • Fraud rings have shot up by 26%, a symptom of the general trend towards increased sophistication seen throughout the online fraud ecosystem.
  • Policy abuse (or compliance abuse) skyrocketed over 2018: an increase of 170%.


A Sophisticated Fraud Ecosystem

The shift in fraud attack methods in 2019 shows that the online criminal community is continuing to increase in sophistication. Where once the point of transaction was the only point on the website a merchant had to worry about, now fraudsters strike at accounts which they can exploit in numerous ways including stealing gift card or coupon credit, stealing loyalty points and stealing personal information such as physical address or phone number. The icing on the criminal cake is that accounts can also be used to make fraudulent purchases, leveraging the good reputation of the victim. Retailers now need to analyze and protect the entire customer journey.

Friendly Fraud: Looking Pretty Unfriendly

The astonishing 170% increase in policy abuse reflects the extent to which online companies are having to deal with the specter of friendly fraud as well as professional fraud. Using social media groups and forums to share tips about how to trick a merchant into giving away more than they mean to, ordinary consumers are increasingly getting in on the policy abuse act.

The solution is to have a system which is sensitive enough to detect both policy abuse and the trust value of the customer, and make decisions accordingly.

Read More

If you’d like to find out more about how online fraud is changing, and prepare and protect your company, download the full report now.

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