cyber fraud transunion

Digital Fraud Attempts on the Rise With Cybercriminals Targeting Gamers and Holidaymakers

As digital fraud attempts on consumers and businesses rise, cybercriminals have shifted their focus from financial services to the gaming, travel and leisure industries, reveals TransUnion’s latest report.

According to the credit reporting company, the rate of suspected digital fraud attempts rose 17 per cent globally during the second quarter of 2021. Travel and leisure was one of the most impacted industries for the suspected digital fraud attempt rate, rising 156 per cent in the last year.

Global financial services online fraud attempt rates had risen 149 per cent when comparing the first four months of 2021 and the last four months of 2020. But comparing Q2 2021 and Q2 2020, the rise was at a much lower percentage of 19 per cent.

“Cybercriminals will periodically shift their focus in line with consumer habits and with many countries, including the UK, beginning to relax Covid-19 restrictions, we saw a surge of transactions being targeted in the travel and leisure industry,” said Sarah Golding, director of fraud and ID at TransUnion in the UK.

While, Josh Gunnell, head of fraud and ID pre-sales at TransUnion in the UK, adds: “Our latest data aligns with industry statistics which confirm the extent to which fraudsters are taking advantage of the changes in consumer behaviour resulting from the pandemic. Businesses will need to examine their fraud prevention strategies to respond to the increase in online spending and to be able to deal with sudden shifts in attempts across different industries, in order to maintain consumer trust.”

TransUnion monitors digital fraud attempts reported by businesses in industries, including gambling, gaming, financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail and travel and leisure. The conclusions are based on billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in its identity proofing, risk-based authentication and fraud analytics solution suite – TransUnion TruValidate.

Spending patterns

Data from TransUnion reveals that younger people in the UK are likely to be driving this rise in spending across travel, leisure and hospitality as restrictions lift. Among Gen Z, a third of 18 to 24-year-olds said they will spend more in the pub, and a similar amount on eating out. Meanwhile, spending on travel will also rise, with almost four in 10 planning to spend on a staycation and over a fifth on a holiday abroad.

Phishing is the most common type of Covid-19 related digital fraud in Q2 2021 – reported by 39 per cent of targeted consumers in the UK. This was followed by shipping fraud and third-party seller scams on online retail websites.


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