Online fraud is now growing faster than online retail, analysis shows

The years of rapid growth in online retail have slowed somewhat. Meanwhile the cybercrime riding the ecommerce wave has not slowed down – on the contrary. — Photo: Nicolas Armer/dpa

Cybercriminals have greatly expanded their criminal activities in ecommerce worldwide over the past year, Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions says in a report published on Wednesday (May 22).

According to the US data security service provider's annual cybercrime report, the number of online purchases increased by a moderate 7% last year.

At the same time, the number of attacks on ecommerce transactions carried out by humans, not software, rose much faster by 59%.

This figure refers to cyberattacks that cannot be traced back to bots programmed by attackers.

The authors estimate the total growth in online attacks originating from humans at 19%. In addition to online trading, this also includes attacks on banking transactions or computer and online gambling.

The analysis is based on the company's own data from the Digital Identity Network, a platform for verifying customer data. According to Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions, 92 billion online transactions were analysed.

The majority of cyberattacks still occur in North America. The most common form, accounting for almost 29% of cases, is the hijacking of an online account using stolen access data.

According to the authors, "scam centres" that develop fraudulent fake websites and computer viruses have emerged in remote regions of Southeast Asia, such as the border regions of Myanmar and Cambodia.

According to Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions, these also include call centres with supposed customer service employees who are supposed to talk victims into sharing their personal login details for online accounts. – dpa

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