E-commerce fraud has recorded a 42% increase this festive season, report

A report by global information and consumer insights firm TransUnion has revealed that online shopping scams have increased by 42 per cent, ahead of the anticipated rise in shopping activities during the festive season.

The study evaluated transactions carried out between November 24 and November 28 and found that 15% of all global transactions during this period were potentially fraudulent.

The report further claims that on any given day during the period of evaluation, fraud attempts were 82 per cent higher than during the rest of the year between January 1 and November 23.

In Kenya, about 5.4% of transactions carried out in the period under study were suspected to be fraudulent.

Shai Cohen, senior vice president and head of global fraud solutions at TransUnion said, “Fraudulent activity tends to be particularly prevalent in online retail during the holiday shopping season.”

Cohen lamented the increase in fraud activities during the festive season, noting that scammers hope to make a kill as millions of shoppers attempt to make online purchases.

“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.”

According to the TransUnion, notable techniques used by fraudsters include abuse promotional campaigns such as a refer-a-friend, free giveaways and impersonation, where someone other than the owner of an account uses it without permission.

TransUnion Kenya Chief Executive Morris Maina averred, “Online retailers must equip themselves with the proper tools to detect fraud at the first warning sign, and without inhibiting the consumer journey.”

He noted that it has become more important for online retailers to implement holistic fraud solutions that are able to verify customer identity and authenticity at the beginning of a transaction.

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Simon W Nderitu

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