When the Covid-19 pandemic virtually shut down air travel in 2020, fraudsters stayed busy when customer accounts at airlines, hotels and other travel-related e-commerce sites fell dormant. As a result, account takeover fraud in travel and hospitality increased more than any other segment, according to a new report from antifraud technology provider Ravelin.
In 2020, travel-related sites experienced 2.6 ATO attacks each month. A year later, that number had climbed to 3.3. Ravelin also found, however, that travel companies recognized the threat and met it with force. While less than a third of travel sector fraud teams had more than 10 employees on staff in 2020, 43 percent reached that level last year.
According to the report, the heavily non-monetary nature of travel-related accounts—full of value derived from things like air miles and loyalty points—is attractive to fraudsters.
“What makes loyalty points and air miles so attractive to fraudsters is that they lack the security and safety measures that money has,” said Martin Sweeney, CEO of Ravelin. “All you need is access to the customer account and you can book tickets, accommodation, and host of other services without even going through a payment gateway. Investing in robust fraud prevention strategy and new talent, and then equipping fraud teams with state-of-the-art fraud detection and prevention tools is a must in 2022.”