Online fraud attempts expected to rise this Christmas

Consumers and online retailers in the UK need to be on high alert as fraudsters are expected to be out in full force.

Consumers and online retailers in the UK and Europe need to be on high alert as online fraud is expected to be out in force during the Christmas season.

According to research by global payments company ACI Worldwide, eCommerce retailers in Europe can expect an 11 per cent rise in fraudulent activity during the upcoming Christmas shopping season, compared to the same period last year. The predictions are based on an analysis of hundreds of millions of transactions from European online retailers.

Fraud attempt rates directed at European eCommerce retailers are expected to increase 11 per cent by volume during this year’s Christmas shopping season – with sales to increase by nearly the same rate (12 per cent) in 2016.

The peak day for fraud attempts is likely to be Christmas Eve, with an expected fraud rate of 2.5 per cent and Cyber Monday is expected to be the day with the highest processing volumes of the year, followed closely by Black Friday.

The average ticket price of an attempted fraud transaction is likely to decrease by 4 per cent (£181 in 2016 vs. £188 in 2015).

The most popular products fraudsters will attempt to buy are likely to be cosmetics, designers sports shoes and clothes.

Julia Roberts, payments risk manager EMEA, ACI Worldwide, thinks that online fraud is increasing at a nearly equal rate to the general growth rate in eCommerce activity due to a continuing shift from in-store to online activity in the UK and Europe.

Roberts adds, ‘And because fraudulent activity is now considered to be an everyday occurrence, consumers and merchants must take every precaution as we head into peak holiday shopping season.

‘The upcoming Christmas season provides major revenue opportunities for eCommerce retailers. However, with opportunity comes risk as fraudsters consider peak trading periods as an opportunity to more easily go undetected.’

She concludes, ‘A well planned and thought out fraud management strategy can increase revenue by as much as 20 percent, and we encourage retailers to make adjustments to their online fraud monitoring and prevention strategy in order to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience during this busy season.’

Further reading on online security

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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