The holiday-shopping season is a busy time not just for merchants and consumers, but for criminals, too. Fraud attacks are projected to increase by at least 50% this holiday-shopping season, and will most likely surpass the 56% increase in attacks during the 2020 holiday season, according to Arkose Labs.
Fraudsters were especially active between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with attempted digital-wallet payment fraud soaring more than threefold compared to the same period in 2020, according to Sift, a provider of fraud-detection solutions.
In addition to the increase in attempted fraud, criminals are trying to bilk merchants for high-dollar-value items. The average value of attempted fraudulent transactions across Sift’s network was $1,181 during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, more than double the $578 average seen a year earlier.
Sift examined payment/fintech fraud data from its network of more than 30,000 apps and Web sites during Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.
While merchants, and especially e-commerce sellers, need to be especially aware of the fraud threat this season, consumers must keep their guard up too, as criminals are expected to launch 2.1 billion attacks against consumer accounts this holiday season, 50% of which will originate from Asia.
Expected attacks include credential stuffing, account takeovers, and fake new-account registrations aimed at taking advantage of promotional offers and items. In addition, fraudsters will be launching phishing attacks and scraping Web site information to gain control of consumers’ accounts.
While e-commerce merchants are a prime target, Arkose Labs expects all industries to be affected by an increase in fraud attacks, as criminals will take advantage of higher levels of digital traffic to all sites to blend in with good customers. Financial-service providers, for example, can expect to see attacks increase three-fold during the holiday season. In addition, one-fifth of social-media traffic is expected to be malicious, according to Arkose.
Bots, which are software that run automated, repetitive tasks at high speed, are also expected to be deployed heavily. Arkose Labs predicts criminals will utilize bots for nearly 2 million fraud attacks. Gaming is expected to be the most targeted industry by bots, and, geographically, North America and Europe are expected to have the highest rate of bot attacks.
Criminals are expected to use bots to launch credential-stuffing, account-takeover, fake account, Web site scraping, and other types of attacks that rely on automation at scale to ensure efficiency and profitability, Arkose Labs says.