TransUnion analyzes early holiday e-commerce fraud attempt rates

TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) released new findings today around global e-commerce fraud trends that occurred during the busiest period of the 2021 holiday shopping season. The analysis found that 17.46% of all global e-commerce transactions between Thurs., Nov. 25, and Mon., Nov. 29, were potentially fraudulent. In the Philippines, 2.49% were suspected fraudulent.

The global percentage of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions is 3.74% higher than the same five-day period leading up to Cyber Monday last year. For transactions originating from the Philippines, the percentage decreased by 48.79% in the same timeframe. These findings are based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained within TransUnion’s flagship identity proofing, risk-based authentication, and fraud analytics solution suite — TruValidate™.

The analysis also observed the top two reasons globally for potentially fraudulent e-commerce transactions in the five days leading up to Cyber Monday. The top reason was the number of accounts per device – which triggers when a device has accessed the minimum number of accounts during the set time period. The second was evidence exists – which occurs when an account or device has previously had a fraudulent transaction.

Percentage of Suspected Fraudulent E-Commerce Transactions during Holiday Shopping Weekend

Country 2021 2020 Percent Change
Philippines 2.49 % 4.86 % -48.79%
Global 17.46 % 16.83 % 3.74%

“The holiday shopping season is a popular time globally 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 majority of consumers and that trend has been further accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers want to shop with online retailers that not only provide a seamless user experience, but also take consumer security and privacy seriously. It is imperative that those businesses equip themselves with the proper tools to detect fraud at the first warning sign without inhabiting the consumer journey.”

In addition to the findings, TransUnion released the following fraud analysis for the Philippines regarding the percentage of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions during the start of the holiday shopping season as well as the entire year from 2019 to 2021.

  • 2.49% from Nov. 25 – 29, 2021; 3.95% so far in 2021
  • 4.86% from Nov. 26 – 30, 2020; 4.63% in 2020
  • 7.29% from Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, 2019; 6.07% in 2019

Percentage of Suspected E-Commerce Fraud – Holiday Season vs. Overall

Country Holiday 2021 All 2021 Holiday 2020 All 2020 Holiday 2019 All 2019
Philippines 2.49% 3.95% 4.86% 4.63% 7.29% 6.07%
Global 17.46% 14.04% 16.83% 14.66% 17.16% 10.94%  

Decline in suspected fraud attempts as consumers express concern

The decline of suspected digital fraud during the traditionally busiest days of the holiday shopping season occurred as consumers expressed concern about being victimized. TransUnion’s Q4 2021 Consumer Pulse Study found that 95% of Filipino consumers are concerned with falling victim to online fraud this holiday season.

“With an exponential rise in digital transactions in the Philippines during pandemic times, concerns related to online fraud continue to be top of mind for businesses and consumers alike. Despite a fall in suspected fraudulent e-commerce attempts from the Philippines during this last year, it is important everyone remains vigilant. As a business, TransUnion works hard to protect Filipinos from global fraud by developing advanced solutions that businesses can implement to combat the evolving online fraud landscape while still allowing legitimate transactions. We understand that ensuring each person can be reliably represented is key to making trust possible between businesses and consumers.” said Pia Arellano, President and CEO of TransUnion Philippines.

TransUnion monitors digital fraud attempts reported by businesses in varied industries such as gambling, gaming, financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail, and travel and leisure, among others. To find out how data varies across select countries, how mobile plays a large part in digital holiday fraud, and what days during the holiday shopping season are most popular for fraud and more, TransUnion’s holiday fraud trends can be found here.


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