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TransUnion suggests biometrics to combat spike in digital transaction fraud attempts

TransUnion suggests biometrics to combat spike in digital transaction fraud attempts

TransUnion has identified a 23 percent increase in e-commerce transactions since the coronavirus pandemic was acknowledged by the World Health Organization two weeks ago on March 11, the company announced in its Global E-commerce in 2020 report.

As consumers are more inclined to shop online, some 22 percent of U.S. respondents encountered coronavirus-related digital fraud attempts. Furthermore, TransUnion Global Fraud & Identity Solutions detected a 347 percent increase in account takeover and 391 percent jump in global shipping fraud campaigns between 2018 and 2019.

The report includes an “E-commerce consumer data bill of rights” with nine expectations of consumers that retailers could meet to demonstrate responsible data stewardship and build trust. TransUnion suggests a multi-layered identity verification and authentication framework that leverages biometrics or other identity features of mobile devices, such as immediacy or location data.

“It is clear that social distancing has changed consumer shopping behaviors globally and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” said Greg Pierson, senior vice president of business planning and development at TransUnion, in a prepared statement. “No doubt fraudsters will continue to follow the trends of good consumers and adjust their schemes accordingly.”

“With so many reported data breaches, it’s not just about if your account will be hijacked, it’s about when,” said Melissa Gaddis, senior director of customer success for TransUnion Fraud & Identity Solutions, in a prepared statement. “Once a fraudster breaks into an account, they have access to everything imaginable resulting in stolen credit card numbers and reward points, fraudulent purchases, and redirecting shipments to other addresses.”

Some of the preferred tactics deployed for account takeover are purchasing login details from the dark web, credential stuffing, hacking, phishing, romance scams and social engineering.

TransUnion company iovation published a financial services fraud report showing a major increase in fraud from mobile devices and consumer prioritization of account security and privacy at Money 20/20 last year.

Between 2018 and 2019, TransUnion noticed a 42 percent decrease in promotion abuse, likely due to higher interest in account takeover schemes. With as many as 78 percent of e-commerce transactions, respectively a 33 percent increase from 2018, being performed on a mobile device, TransUnion reports a 118 percent increase in fraudsters attempting to mimic consumer behavior to bypass detection.

Cybersecurity providers are increasingly layering behavioral biometrics into their offerings to protect against account takeovers, with Kount just the latest example.

“Although the death of brick and mortar has been well documented, there is still plenty of room for e-commerce growth with one report claiming online retail only makes up 14 percent of all global retail sales,” added Gaddis. “With so much room left for growth, it’s important that retailers stay ahead of the emerging transaction and retail trends to provide a friction-right experience for consumers and a fraudster-proof barrier.”

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