Fraudsters are shifting focus away from financial services

“Our latest data is in line with industry statistics that confirm the extent to which scammers are taking advantage of the changes in consumer behavior caused by the pandemic.”

According to a new study by TransUnion, scammers are shifting their efforts away from financial services to other industries, with travel and leisure taking the lead in the UK.

Across industries, the rate of suspected digital fraud attempts increased by 17% worldwide compared to the second quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2020. The travel and leisure industry was one of the hardest hit industries worldwide by the suspected digital fraud rate, which rose 156% last year. and was by far the hardest hit industry in the UK.

When comparing the first four months of 2021 to the last four months of 2020, the number of online fraud attempts in financial services had increased by 149%. However, when comparing the second quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2020, the rate of suspected fraud attempts in online financial services has still increased, but at a much lower percentage of 19% globally, reflecting this sudden shift to other sectors.

Fraudsters continued to capitalize on the change and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic in the second quarter of 2021. TransUnion’s June 2021 Consumer Pulse study found that more than one in three consumers (36%) in the UK were targeted by digital fraud attempts related to Covid-19. For the most targeted generation, Gen Z (50%), that rose to one in two.

Among Generation Z, a third (33%) of 18-24 year olds said they would spend more in the pub and a similar amount (31%) on eating out. At the same time, spending on travel will also increase: Almost four in ten are planning a stay (37%) and more than a fifth are planning a holiday abroad (22%).

Phishing is the most common type of digital fraud related to Covid-19 in the second quarter of 2021 and was reported by 39% of target customers in the UK, followed by shipping fraud (21%) and third-party fraud on legitimate online retail websites (16th). %).

Sarah Golding, Director of Fraud and ID at TransUnion in the UK said: “Cyber ​​criminals will regularly shift their focus in line with consumer habits, and as many countries, including the UK, begin easing Covid-19 restrictions, we’ve seen an increase in transactions in the travel and leisure industry. As people make up for lost time and book vacations and days, companies must take all possible steps to ensure that consumers can be confident that their transaction is safe while maintaining a smooth customer experience. “

Josh Gunnell, Head of Fraud and ID Pre-Sales at TransUnion, commented: “Our latest data is in line with industry statistics that confirm the extent to which scammers are taking advantage of the changes in consumer behavior caused by the pandemic. Businesses need to review their fraud prevention strategies to respond to the surge in online spending and to cope with sudden shifts in attempts across industries to maintain consumer confidence. “

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