Report: Holiday Season Fraud Spiked 60% Since 2017

Report: Holiday Season Fraud Spiked 60% Since 2017

December 12, 2019

The 2019 holiday shopping season kicked off with a 29 percent increase in suspected online retail fraud compared to the same period last year. Research from TransUnion’s iovation also finds a 60 percent increase in suspected e-commerce fraud during the same period from 2017 to 2019. The findings are based on online retail transactions analyzed between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday over the last three years.

“This data unfortunately reinforces the fraud fears that consumers expressed in our recent survey,” said TransUnion Senior Vice President of Business Planning and Development, Greg Pierson.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the two days with the most suspected fraudulent activity among online retail transactions, the report said.

iovation also looked at geographic distribution of suspected fraud. The countries from which the highest percentage of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions originated were China (57 percent), Central African Republic (57 percent), and Lebanon (45 percent). 

U.S. cities from which the highest percentage of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions originated were Boardman, Ore. (70 percent), Pineville, La. (42 percent) and Alexandria, La. (38 percent).

Mobile remains popular for shopping and fraud

iovation also found that the average consumer used a mobile phone or tablet for 63 percent of their online retail transactions during the start of the 2019 holiday shopping season. That is up from 58 percent for the same period in 2018 and 56 percent for the same period in 2017.

Mobile is also the preferred method for fraudulent online retail transactions, said iovation in a summary. The company found that a mobile phone or tablet appeared to be used for 63 percent of all suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions during the long holiday shopping weekend compared to 59 percent from the same period in 2018.

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