Ai Editorial: Why uncovering patterns of fraud with one approach won't work?

23rd January, 2020

A study, by Sift, has shared that fraudsters are moving freely from one fraud type to another. With data breaches, it is easy for hackers and fraudsters to gain additional information and plan other types of fraud beyond payment fraud.


A unified or a blanket approach to dealing with various types of frauds that exist in the e-commerce sector isn't going to work anymore.

The travel e-commerce sector, being a lucrative proposition for fraudsters, remains a prime target. Fraudsters are always looking at new methods to discover an  enterprise's vulnerabilities. So travel merchants not only need to be vigilant of the types of fraud but also be prepared to deal with them discretely.

Fraudsters are becoming better at what they do. They are increasingly going after more than one type of fraud. Plus, fraudsters commit fraud in more than one industry. According to an analysis by Sift, fraudsters are moving freely from one fraud type to another.

As for the types of fraud, the list includes payment-related fraud (unauthorized payment transactions, featuring stolen credit cards, debit cards etc.); new account or fake account (created by a fake identity, a fraudster or bot signing up for an account using another person’s real identity/credentials) and account takeover (a genuine user creates an account, and a fraudster later gains access to it and uses it for fraud). Sift also referred to fake content and fraudsters abuse promotions by redeeming coupons multiple times, or by creating fake accounts to redeem additional promotional offers.   

Looking beyond payment-related fraud

The latest analysis, based on the team's study of over 34,000 sites and apps in Sift’s customer base, with "data breaches making users’ credentials readily available on the dark web, it’s easy for bad actors to obtain additional information and attempt other types of fraud beyond payment fraud".  

Some of the other key findings:

  • Highlighting the way fraudsters continue to move ahead and pose new threats, the study indicated that various verticals are targeted concurrently. And whether those verticals are connected or not, doesn't matter. While digital e-commerce is the industry most plagued with fraud, fraudsters move fluidly from one industry to another, attempting multiple types of fraud. Fraud is not linear, but rather an interconnected web.

- 78% of fraudsters who start in digital e-commerce are also likely to commit fraud in another industry.

- 86% of fraudsters commit fraud in more than one industry.

  • In the list of the "fraudiest" industries, the travel sector is at the third spot. The top two sectors are digital e-commerce and physical e-commerce.

With such cross-industry focus of fraudsters, it is must for stakeholders to find out how the culprits find ways to hide or execute malicious tactics. Merchants and fraud prevention specialists acknowledge the significance of the same. For instance, spoofing has become more commonplace. Fraud is more complex than ever, and the only way to battle it out with fraudsters is to comprehend the perpetually evolving fraud landscape.


Keen on exploring fraud prevention and payment-related issues?

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