As people remained stuck in their homes amid the spread of Covid-19 infections, cyber fraudsters went on the prowl. They tried hacking online goods’ deliveries, attempted credit card frauds and identity thefts.
Data from TransUnion Research showed that fraud attempts rose 28.3% between March 2020 and March 2021 compared to the preceding 12 months. The assessment, TransUnion said, is based on in-house fraud analytics.
“Fraudsters are always looking to take advantage of significant world events. The Covid-19 pandemic and its corresponding rapid digital acceleration brought about by stay-at-home orders is a global event unrivaled in the online age,” said Shaleen Srivastava, executive vice president and head of fraud solutions at TransUnion in India.
The logistics sector saw the largest jump in fraud attempts.
There was a 224% increase in suspected fraud attempts coming from India directed at the logistics sector. This was far higher than the 5% rise seen globally. Shipping fraud was the most common type of fraud here.
Since most of the goods are having to be shipped, fraudsters are either redirecting genuine orders or alternatively placing fraudulent orders with compromised consumer accounts to genuine customer addresses, and then redirecting them once shipped, TransUnion said.
A similar trend was also seen in attempted frauds related to telecommunication, mainly due to credit card data frauds, that tripled during the pandemic. Comparatively, the rise in attempted telecom frauds was 58% globally.
The third worst-hit was the financial services sector, which saw an 89% increase in fraud attempts. Here, fraudsters were mainly attempting identity thefts.
The cities where maximum fraud attempts originated from were Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
The percent or rate of suspected fraudulent digital transaction attempts are those that TransUnion’s customers either denied or reviewed due to fraudulent indicators compared to all transactions it assessed for fraud. The data was collected from more than a billion transactions and over 40,000 global websites and apps through an in-house fraud analytics solutions suite.
“By analyzing billions of transactions globally we screened for fraud indicators over the past year, it has become clear that the war against the virus has also brought about a war against digital fraud,” said Srivastava.