Fraudsters in India shift focus from financial services to travel and leisure: Report – The Financial Express

Clipped from: https://www.financialexpress.com/money/fraudsters-in-india-shift-focus-from-financial-services-to-travel-and-leisure-report/2339757/

In India post the unlocks, travel and leisure have increasingly become a target as the industry recovers and fraudsters are looking to capitalize as more transactions return to this industry.

Fraudsters, travel, logistics, online dating, travel and leisure, communities, logistics sectors, Transunion monitors digital fraudGlobal financial services online fraud attempt rates had risen 149 per cent when comparing the first four months of 2021 and the last four months of 2020.

As the prevalence of digital fraud attempts on businesses and consumers continues to rise globally, industry reports and analysis say that fraudsters in India are re-focusing their efforts from financial services to travel and leisure, communities (online forums) and logistics industries.

TransUnion’s newest quarterly analysis has found that fraudsters in India are re-focusing their efforts from financial services to the travel and leisure, online community forums and logistics industries. While global suspected online fraud attempts increased by 16.5 per cent, attempts originating in India reduced by 49.2 per cent.

In India post the unlocks, travel and leisure have increasingly become a target as the industry recovers and fraudsters are looking to capitalize as more transactions return to this industry. Experts say, with the festive season coming up, everything re-opening and people looking to spend on travel and shopping, this new wave of digital fraud could be a problem.

Shai Cohen, Senior VP of Global Fraud Solutions at TransUnion, says, “It is quite common for fraudsters to shift their focus every few months from one industry to another. Fraudsters tend to seek out industries that may be seeing immense growth in transactions. This quarter, as countries began to open up more from their COVID-19 lockdowns and travel and other leisure activities became more mainstream, fraudsters made this industry a top target.”

Industry data says across industries, the rate of suspected digital fraud attempts rose 16.5 per cent globally when comparing Q2 2021 to Q2 2020. However, for transactions coming from India, the percentage of digital fraud attempts decreased at a rate of 49.20 per cent during the same period.

When comparing Q2 2021 to Q2 2022, gaming and travel and leisure were the two most impacted industries globally for the suspected digital fraud attempt rate, rising 393.0 per cent and 155.9 per cent in the last year, respectively. For transactions originating in India when comparing these same periods, this rate rose 53.97 per cent for gaming and 269.72 per cent for travel and leisure.

TransUnion monitors digital fraud attempts reported by businesses in varied industries such as gambling, gaming, financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail and travel and leisure, among others. The conclusions are based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in its flagship identity proofing, risk-based authentication and fraud analytics solution. These websites and apps have the traffic coming from countries across the globe, including India.

Cohen, says “The growth in communities and gaming fraud also can be attributed to the shifts in the focus of fraudsters as these growing markets become a larger target.”

An example of the sudden shift in focus of fraudsters can be seen in financial services. Global financial services online fraud attempt rates had risen 149 per cent when comparing the first four months of 2021 and the last four months of 2020. However, when comparing Q2 2021 and Q2 2020, the rate of suspected online financial services fraud attempts have still risen globally, but at a much lower rate of 18.8 per cent globally. When comparing those two periods for transactions coming from India that rate has declined by 15.35 per cent, experts say which indicates stronger fraud control measures being adopted by the financial services industry.

Cohen adds, “As fraudsters continue to target consumers, it’s incumbent on businesses to do all that they can to ensure their customers have an appropriate level of security to trust their transaction is safe all while having a friction-right experience to avoid shopping cart abandonment.”

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