Financial Frauds Find a Home Online
Digital scams, led by identity theft, increased sharply in the first months of 2021, with banking and other financial services a chief area of online fraud, according to new research by Transunion, a credit reporting agency.
Scams that specifically involve financial services shot up 109 percent in the United States, when comparing the first four months of this year with the final four months of 2020, the analysis found. Globally, the increase in financial services scams was even higher, at 149 percent.
Scammers also set their eyes on non-banking industries. Globally, digital frauds involving travel and leisure jumped 25 percent between late 2020 and early 2021, and scams in the gaming industry increased 9 percent.
The new data show how swindlers follow the money. According to the Transunion report, 60 percent of consumers are now conducting most of their financial transactions through mobile applications. The pandemic accelerated this trend.
“The rate of fraud attempts are up globally and especially in the financial services industry because fraudsters understand this is where the most high-value transactions are taking place,” said Shai Cohen, Senior Vice President of Global Fraud Solutions at TransUnion.