Global online fraud on the increase


Experian’s recently released Global Identity and Fraud report on businesses in Africa, Europe and the US shows that 55% of businesses have experienced an increase in fraud-related losses over the past 12 months – particularly when it comes to account opening and account takeover attacks. The report found that 74% of consumers see security as the most important element of their online experience, followed by convenience.

While consumers reported being aware of the risks involved in providing their personal information to banks and retailers online, a full 70% of them were nevertheless willing to share more personal data if they could be assured of greater online security and convenience.

Banks and insurance companies are the organisations most trusted by consumers, with online retail sites and social media sites trailing considerably. Consumer confidence in online security grew from 43% to 74% when physical biometrics were used to protect their accounts.

Concern for fraud and increased fraud losses are highest amongst businesses in the US.  Consumers in the US have experienced far more fraudulent events online than their counterparts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“Security and convenience are the bedrocks of a dynamic digital marketplace that effectively manages risk and delivers a seamless experience,” said Steve Pulley, Experian’s executive vice-president and general manager of Global Identity & Fraud Solutions. “The availability of information consumers she with businesses makes this possible, but it’s the same information that puts them at a greater risk for fraud, making trust more important than ever.”

“With the digital marketplace in South Africa expanding, the risk of fraud remains a constant and growing threat in the digital landscape,” said Mark Wells, Chief Customer Officer at Experian South Africa. “While it is encouraging to see the industry responding to this as best as possible, we believe there is still a serious need for consumer education that involves helping consumers to feel more in control of their personal data.”