Are Your Customers Night Owls? They Could be Fraudsters

April 2, 2015

Are Your Customers Night Owls? They Could be Fraudsters Israeli antifraud technology provider Forter this week released some data on fraud it collected in the U.S. during 2014 that sheds a bit of light on some of the characteristics of fraudulent orders—when they are likely to occur and what kinds of cards are used most often.

Within a typical 24-hour day, the highest rate of fraud occurs between 2 and 6 a.m. ET. Fraud rates during those hours are 10 times as high as they are between 2 and 6 p.m. The company attributes this to the fact that many fraudsters operate from outside the U.S. in other time zones, and many of those that are domestic actually have “day jobs,” leaving the nighttime hours for criminal behavior.

Also, fraud rates are least prevalent during the heaviest shopping days of the year. Because fraudsters are indifferent to promotions, fraud levels stay relatively stable throughout the year while the number of legitimate customers explodes on those days.

The company also found, perhaps unsurprisingly, more fraud was perpetrated on premium and elite credit cards than more basic cards. Elite versions like the American Express Centurion and Visa Infinite, while they are much more scarce, have more than double the fraud rates (1.7 percent, on average) of basic or corporate cards (0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, on average, respectively) or even loyalty-based credit cards or gold and platinum cards (both around 1 percent, on average).