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Rate of suspected digital fraud attempts from Puerto Rico up 31% from ’19-’21

The rate of suspected digital fraud attempts grew by31% from Puerto Rico, when comparing 2019 to 2021, with shipping fraud as the type of fraud exhibiting the sharpest increase, according to TransUnion’s “2022 Global Digital Fraud Trends” report.

The global number stood at 52%, with the ongoing growth of e-commerce as the reason for the surge.

The report showed that ertain business sectors have been more prone to digital fraud attempts. In Puerto Rico, the travel and leisure saw the largest percentage of annual fraud growth when comparing 2019 to 2021 with an increase of 86%. Telecommunications (67%) and e-commerce (36%) were the second and third industries with the largest growth in the rate of suspected digital fraud attempts, followed by financial services with a 34% increase.

“As consumers shifted from brick-and-mortar retailers to e-commerce platforms over the course of the pandemic, fraudsters gravitated toward where consumers were increasingly spending both time and money,” said Rodney Curbelo, TransUnion’s general manager for Puerto Rico.

“Online shopping has become the ‘new normal’ on a global scale and as a result, the propensity for shipping fraud has also increased,” he said.

Shipping fraud — defined as when a buyer spoofs a shipping address or when a seller receives payment for goods or services, but never ships to the buyer — has quickly emerged as one of the top fraud types across a variety of industries.

This issue, however, was most prominent in the logistics industry where consumers purchase goods online and are then reliant on third-party carriers for transportation and delivery of items. In addition to shipping fraud, other types of fraud that experienced large increases globally include business identity theft, and identity mining and phishing attempts, the company stated.

TransUnion came to its conclusions about fraud against businesses based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in its TransUnion TruValidate identity proofing, risk-based authentication and fraud analytics solution suite.

The percent or rate of suspected digital fraud attempts are those that TruValidate customers either denied or reviewed due to fraudulent indicators compared to all transactions it assessed for fraud.

“Fraud continues to impact a variety of different business sectors and fraudsters are always looking for the next opportunity. However, there are some industries that continue to have a target on their backs — such as financial services or travel and leisure — that should preemptively employ fraud detection solutions and strategies to better serve customers and protect their bottom line,” said Curbelo.

Identify theft ‘top concern’ for most of Puerto Rican consumers
Consumers are worried about falling victim to fraud schemes, according to TransUnion’s recent Consumer Pulse survey of 12,500 adults worldwide, with 80% of Puerto Rican consumers reporting identity theft as their greatest concern when it comes to digital fraud.

Nearly four out of every 10 Puerto Rican consumers surveyed (37%) claimed to have been targeted by digital fraud schemes with 32% being targeted with third-party seller scams on legitimate retail websites, the most common digital fraud type.

“Nearly half of all Puerto Rican consumers surveyed by TransUnion said they are conducting most of their transactions online, covering everything from managing personal finances and shopping to conducting business matters, which has led to an elevated consumer expectation in terms of both experience and security,” said Curbelo.

“To effectively mitigate digital fraud risks, businesses should ensure there are strong authentication processes in place as well as streamlined technology and multi-layered identity solutions. These solutions will help build trust with customers and thwart these fraud tactics,” he said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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