Holiday Season Fraud Fear Higher this Year

A quarter of consumers are more worried about becoming a victim of e-commerce fraud this holiday season than they were during last year’s festive period, according to new research.

The finding was part of the new Digital Holiday Fraud in 2021 report on global e-commerce fraud trends published today by information and insights company TransUnion.

Analysis of global e-commerce transactions between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday found that 7.46% were potentially fraudulent. In the United States, that figure was found to be substantially higher, at 19.66%.

Of the e-commerce transactions from January 1 to November 29 this year, 15.73% were potentially fraudulent. This figure increased by 25% during this year’s holiday shopping season.

Globally, the percentage of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions from November 25 to November 29 was roughly 4% higher than the same period last year, when the rate was 16.83%. 

In the United States, Saturday, November 27, was the day with the highest percentage of suspected digital fraud attempts so far this year, at 21.99%.

These findings were based on intelligence drawn from billions of transactions contained in TransUnion’s fraud analytics solution suite, TruValidate.

“The holiday shopping season is a popular time for bad actors to engage in fraudulent activity, particularly in the e-commerce and retail industry,” said Shai Cohen, senior vice president of global fraud solutions at TransUnion. 

“Online shopping is the new norm for the majority of consumers and that trend has been further accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

TransUnion’s recent Consumer Holiday Shopping Report found that 15% of consumers listed the top reason for abandoning their virtual shopping cart as a lack of site security. 

“Consumers want to shop with online retailers that not only provide a seamless user experience, but also take consumer security and privacy seriously,” said Cohen. 

“It is imperative that those businesses equip themselves with the proper tools to better assess the overall risk of a potential fraudulent transaction without inhibiting the consumer journey.”

The report found that a third of consumers (33%) were shopping for the holidays earlier this year in anticipation of supply-chain issues and gaps in inventory

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