More fraudulent activities prevalent during holiday shopping

Martin Endjala

Fifteen percent of all global e-commerce transactions reviewed between November 24-28 are said potentially fraudulent.

The latest findings released on 12 December 2022 by TransUnion Africa around global e-commerce fraud occurring during the start of the 2022 holiday shopping season reveal. In Namibia, 6% of e-commerce transactions during that period were suspected to be fraudulent. These findings are based on intelligence from billions of transactions contained in TransUnion’s fraud analytics solution suite.

The analysis also determines that the average number of suspected digital fraud attempts on any given day during that holiday period globally was 82% higher than during the rest of the year, 1 January, 2022 to the 23rd November 2022. For transactions originating in Namibia, the percentage was 23% lower than during the rest of the year, while suspected Digital Holiday Shopping Fraud in Namibia is said to have increased by 54% compared to last year.

Shai Cohen, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Fraud Solutions at TransUnion, says fraudulent activity tends to be particularly prevalent in online retail during the holiday shopping season. Adding that despite the fact that consumers have begun returning in larger numbers to in-person shopping in the post-pandemic era, online retail continues to be the preferred means of holiday shopping for many.

He notes that it is important that online retailers ensure consumer security and privacy protections, which is important to consumers, but in a way which ensures a seamless shopping experience that minimises unnecessary friction. The analysis indicates the top types of fraudulent e-commerce transactions globally, with promotion abuse (user abuses site promotions such as refer-a-friend, free giveaways, etc.) and account takeover (someone other than the owner of an account uses it without permission, indicating that the account has been maliciously compromised) being this year’s top types of digital fraud in retail.

It is therefore vital that online retailers are cautioned to equip themselves with the proper tools to detect fraud at the first warning sign, and without inhibiting the consumer journey. Lara Burger the General Manager of TransUnion Namibia emphasises the importance of these online retailers implementing holistic fraud solutions that are able to verify customer identity and authenticity at the very beginning of a transaction without resulting in false positives that may cost them legitimate transactions.

Moreover, TransUnion monitors digital fraud attempts reported by businesses in varied industries such as gambling, gaming, financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail, and travel and leisure, among others.

TransUnion Africa informs that this is the first year to have conducted a study in various African countries pointing out that the conclusions are based on intelligence from billions of transactions, and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in TransUnion’s flagship identity insights, digital insights, Omni channel authentication, and fraud analytics solution suite.

TransUnion is a leading global information and insights company that makes trust possible in the modern economy. “We do this by providing an actionable picture of each person so they can be reliably represented in the marketplace”. As a result, businesses and consumers can then transact with confidence and achieve great things. Additionally, TransUnion provides solutions that help create economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for hundreds of millions of people in more than 30 countries.

They are recognised as leaders in the African credit, risk and fraud markets, where they provide consumer reports, risk scores, analytical services and deaccessioning capabilities to businesses across the continent. They are the only company in Africa’s IT industry that manages multiple complex databases containing insurance, cellular, consumer, commercial and auto data assets.

By Observer