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News & Views

Coronavirus - impact on fraud

A recent report by Forter (, the leader in e-commerce fraud prevention, assesses the broader impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on e-commerce shopping habits and the growing use of the crisis to perpetrate fraud.

The e-commerce, shopping and fraud trends identified are based on an analysis of the Forter Global Merchant Network – which annually protects more than $150 billion in global commerce transactions and encompasses over 100 global customers.

Fraudsters and criminals leverage crisis situations to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.  Based on Forter's expert analysis, the biggest fraud trends that consumers and merchants should be aware of include:

* Fraudsters Exploiting Work From Home Policies as more companies enact liberal work from home policies as a preventive measure, fraudsters are taking the opportunity to launch more attacks under the assumption that companies have less visibility and security coverage during this period.

The most prevalent attacks include:

* Airline Fraud – fake vacations and Flights where fraudsters are increasingly opening fake travel agencies, proposing discounted deals or reselling tickets based on travel cancelled due to the Coronavirus.

* Shipping Fraud to fake locations where fraudsters are increasingly attempting to have items shipped to locations other than the original shipping addresses, telling support teams that they are travelling and not able to get back to their home locations because of Coronavirus.

* Expedited Request where fraudsters are increasingly asking merchants to expedite shipping due to concerns of Coronavirus due to amended travel plans as a result of Coronavirus outbreak.

* Account Takeovers which fraudsters are increasingly capitalizing on the concern regarding Coronavirus by using phishing emails to trick unsuspecting consumers and employees into clicking on a malicious link that then grants them remote control access to the victim's device and private / personal data.

Forter’s research revealed that one of the favourites of fraudsters so far has been fake emails from HR teams notifying employees about the company stance related to Coronavirus.



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