E-Commerce Fraud Losses Expected to Top $20 Billion in 2021

E-Commerce Fraud $20 Billion in 2021

A new report has emerged claiming that e-commerce fraud losses are expected to top $20 billion in 2021, as fraudsters and cyber criminals continue to exploit customers shopping online. 

As the trend toward online shopping continues to accelerate amid COVID-19 restrictions, authors of the new report are warning customers to be vigilant of their browsing habits and how to spot fraudulent sellers online. 

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The numbers come from Juniper Research, who published its latest ‘Fighting Online Payment Fraud in 2021’ report, and says that it expects e-commerce fraud losses to top $20 billion in 2021, up more than 18% over 2020’s figures. 

This rise is likely the result of more of the globe’s population turning to online shopping and e-commerce as an alternative to brick and mortar shopping, which saves time and often offers cheaper prices. 

Juniper Research estimates that the number of “wallet users” online will increase from 2.6 billion in 2020 to more than 4.4 billion in 2025, meaning there is a far greater target audience for scammers to take advantage of online shoppers. 

Authors of the report say that “fraudsters have targeted consumers as they have increased their e-commerce use; exposing insecure fraud mitigation processes from merchants who are unfamiliar and unprepared with the continuing fraud challenges in this market.” 

They also say that China is the world’s largest contributor to e-commerce fraud around the globe, and is expected to account for more than 40% of the forecasted fraud losses for 2025, or around $12 billion in a single year stemming from Chinese fraud tactics. 

The authors say that “China’s massive e-commerce market and a relative lack of fraud detection and prevention platform deployment are the key drivers behind this. Merchants operating in China should invest in fraud detection and prevention now, or they will increasingly face damage to their already slim operating margins.” 

The report also details the prices of certain things like credit card information, or stolen online banking logins that are often listed on the darkweb for sale. The table goes to show that a cloned mastercard with active PIN can be purchased for as little as $15, while credit card information with an account balance up to $5,000 can be purchased for just $20. 

See the table below for the full list of average pricing for fraudulently-obtained financial material like Paypal logins and even passports. 

E-Commerce Fraud Losses to top $20 Billion in 2021

Source: Fighting Online Payment Fraud in 2021

Co-author of the report, Susan Morrow has said that “while the need for security is greater than ever, the competitive e-commerce environment means merchants will need to ensure that extra security checks are justified to the user, or they risk higher cart abandonment rates.” 

The authors make it clear that the public needs to be vigilant in the face of e-commerce fraud, stating that it is clear that “cybercriminals are always one step ahead.”

“They use a mix of social engineering and technology know-how to circumvent systems. Fraudsters’ ultimate aim is financial, so payment systems are the ideal target. Understanding the threat landscape is crucial to reinforcing protection, while keeping innovation clear of exploitation,” the authors write. 

If you would like more information on how you can minimise your organisation’s exposure to online fraud and optimise its information security processes, click here to find out more about ISO 27001: Information Security

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