Online Retail Fraud Attacks Grew 215 Percent in 2015


A report by Forter and, the Global Fraud Index, shows that scammers are increasingly headed online.

Dollars at risk from online fraud per $100 of retail sales rose to $4.79 in this year’s first quarter, up from $1.89 in Q1 2015, according to a report from Forter, an anti-fraud software vendor, and ecommerce analyst

The report, the Global Fraud Attack Index, stated that luxury goods saw an even higher increase, with $8.72 of every $100 at risk. Digital goods saw the highest rise in fraud, a whopping 304 percent.

Some sectors saw fraud rates drop:

  • Electronics (down 17 percent)
  • Food & Beverage (down 36 percent)

The report found there were 27 attacks per 1,000 transactions in Q4 2015, an increase of 215 percent from Q1 2015. In the past, fraud rates tended to drop as the high volume of legitimate holiday shopping transactions flooded the market, but that wasn’t the case last year.

Implementation of EMV technology – in which credit and debit cards come with a distinctive gold or silver chip — may be responsible for the increase. The report speculates that use of more secure EMV cards, which make in-person fraud difficult, has driven scammers to pursue online fraud.

The report also found that fraud attacks were 50 percent more likely for transactions that originated from outside the U.S., and the most popular method of attack was via botnets, which accounted for 83 percent of all fraudulent transactions in Q4.

Account takeovers were the second most popular and occurred mostly through phishing attacks. The numbers include only completed fraudulent transactions, as legal procedures prevent retailers from reporting fraud attempts, according to the report.


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Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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