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Established 1996
Wednesday 26 February 2020


Loyalty scheme fraud up by 90%

Written by Peter Walker

Fraud is evolving rapidly beyond the point of the transaction to accounts such as loyalty programs and abuse of return policies, according to new research.

Forter, an e-commerce fraud prevention specialist, has released the findings of its seventh Fraud Attack Index, finding that loyalty fraud increased by 89 per cent year-on-year, while the total dollar amount in online fraud increased by 12 per cent from last year.

Michael Reitblat, chief executive and co-founder of Forter, said that the industry as a whole has done a "tremendous" job detecting and preventing payment fraud at the point of transaction. "This eliminates the amateurs, but now we’re seeing fraudsters now shift their efforts earlier in the customer journey, gaining access to consumers’ accounts.”

Fraudsters are having significantly more success in account takeover (ATO) attacks - 1.5 million individuals whose accounts had already been compromised had additional accounts opened in their name. Fraudsters then transfer funds to these accounts from their victims’ legitimate accounts.

Reitblat said that a second trend is for fraudsters diversifying into softer currencies that are not primarily financial and moving beyond transactional credit card fraud into areas such as loyalty account fraud and policy abuse.

Taking advantage of silos that separate brick and mortar and online operations, Buy Online Return In-Store (BORIS) fraud increased by 23 per cent, and Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) fraud also increased by 23 per cent. Coupon abuse likewise saw an increase of 10 per cent.

“Today, the customer journey has become more complex as consumers engage with brands and products across numerous touchpoints for a truly omnichannel experience,” noted Jordan McKee, research director at 451 Research. “The data in the latest Fraud Attack Index is proof that, as the global payments and e-commerce system shifts, online criminals shift as well."


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