Published: December 11, 2017
Reading time: 3 minute read
Written by: Forter Team

The 2017 holiday season is a big one for e-commerce — the first time that online shopping is set to overtake physical stores. Retailers need to scale their operations on every level, including fraud prevention. The more popular an item is, the more likely it is to be targeted by the fraudster fraternity. Merchants need to bear this in mind during the holiday season. Do you know which are in right now? Take the quiz to find out!


What It Means For E-commerce Merchants

Chasing hot items makes sense from the criminal perspective. Fraudsters are usually very businesslike in their approach. The idea is to make as much money as possible, with as little effort as possible. By targeting popular items they hope to slip unnoticed among the flood of good buyers. Fraudsters also know that they’ll find it easy to resell the goods to genuine holiday shoppers.

This has direct consequences for retailers in diverse industries, as it means that some merchandise which was not particularly subject to fraud attack in past years will now come under threat. For example, online apparel merchants should watch out for attacks against puffer jackets this year. They’re “in” this year, which means they fit the profile of the ideal fraudster target. In fact, puffer jackets made the list on this year’s Fraudster Wish List.

Online retailers need to keep a close eye on their hottest items and make sure their fraud system is synced with this information and what it could mean for fraud attacks. It’s not enough to trust last year’s data, because the criminals have moved onto other items already. Merchants must too.



The 2017 Fraudster Wish List

Today, Forter released its 2017 Holiday Fraudster Wish List. Now in its third year, the list tracks the products which are under greatest threat of theft during the holiday. We hope this data will help online retailers gear up for the vital last weeks of the holiday shopping season when most of these items are targeted.

Some of the products on the wish list are obvious fraudster favorites while others come as a surprise. Even with the obvious ones, you might not guess all the details and why they’ve fallen out that way! Taking the Fraudster Wish List Quiz is a great way to get the summary, but make sure you read beyond the headlines to understand what’s going on and why.

For example, you might expect a diamond ring to make the list, but do you also know the most coveted fraudster diamond size? You may know that fraudsters favor high-heeled shoes, but do you know this year’s top color? And what kind of alcohol are criminals guzzling in 2017?


Looking at the List

The products on this year’s Wish List are a mix of old favorites and newcomers. Some products have an evergreen appeal. These items are subject to fraud attacks over the holiday season as fraudsters hope to stock up on these surefire sellers when fraud teams are overwhelmed by festive orders.

Companies which still rely on manual reviews often struggle during the winter rush. Manually reviewing transactions doesn’t scale well. Teams under pressure are more likely to make mistakes and more likely to fall behind. Good customers, in turn, are frustrated by the unexpected delay resulting from manual reviews. Hiring extra employees isn’t an answer either, as accuracy requires experience and without it false positives are likely to increase.

Fraudsters know all about this annual retail challenge, and they take advantage of it. They know it makes the holiday season a good time to accomplish two goals: steal things that are in demand right now and stock up on items to resell during the coming year.

What are they stealing this year? Download the Fraudster Wish List ebook to find out.

3 minute read