June 28, 2018
Fraud attacks against digital goods sites led the way in 2017, contributing significantly to an overall rise in attack rates against online merchants of 13 percent, according to a new report. An analysis of the attacks perpetrated against its merchant customers by antifraud technology provider Forter found that, over the course of 2017, fraud attacks against digital goods providers increased 167 percent. Merchants who sell electronics and those with online outlets in the food and beverage industry also saw sharp rises in attack rates (66 and 60 percent, respectively). Of the six segments Forter looked at, attack rates rose for all of them and only apparel and accessories—at 7 percent—endured an increase of less than 37 percent.
Forter’s most recent Fraud Attack Index also looked at trends impacting various types of fraud. Return abuse (returning merchandise for a refund after using it) topped the list of attack types with the highest growth at 119 percent. Fraudsters continue to increasingly attack merchants at the account level. The company found account takeover attacks increased 31 percent from 2016 to 2017. The report also looked at other emerging fraud trends including identity manipulation, policy abuse and coupon abuse.
“Amid data breaches, phishing attacks, expansive dark web marketplaces, and the robust connections between personas online, fraudsters have more direct access than ever to the tools and information they need to commit online fraud,” the authors said in the report. “This has lowered the barrier to entry for new fraudsters and has enabled experienced fraudsters to increase the scale, sophistication, and speed at which they commit their attacks.”