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Online fraud attempts drop 29% during unlock

By Abhijeet Lele
October 21, 2020 13:20 IST
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Such attempts had risen sharply right before pandemic and early part of pandemic by 121 per cent.

Online fraud attempts have declined 29 per cent during the unlocking period in India.

Such attempts had risen sharply right before the Covid-19 outbreak and in the early part of the pandemic by 121 per cent, according to a TransUnion study.


“With the rush among businesses to go digital as many were forced to go completely online almost overnight, fraudsters tried to take advantage,” said Shaleen Srivastava, EVP and head of fraud, solutions and alternate data at TransUnion in India.

There was a marked increase in suspected online fraud attempts in India against businesses, after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.

The study observed a decrease in such attempts as companies reopened their physical locations.

The conclusions about fraud against businesses globally are based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in its flagship fraud prevention solution.

Suspected incidents online fraud increased from the start of the outbreak (January 1, 2020- March 10, 2020) to the beginning of the pandemic (“phase 1", March 1-May 18).

However, as businesses began reopening (“phase 2", May 19-July 25), there was a 29 per cent decrease in suspected digital fraud attempts in India against businesses when compared to "phase 1".

“They (attempted frauds) were most likely unsuccessful in their attempts and took their scams elsewhere as those businesses ramped up their digital fraud prevention solutions while providing a friction-right consumer experience.

"Conversely, with consumers, fraudsters are increasingly using Covid-19 to prey on those persons who are facing mounting financial pressures”, Transunion added.

Photograph: Reuters

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Abhijeet Lele in Mumbai
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