E-commerce fraud - statistics & facts

Fraud has been around since the very origin of e-commerce. However, the boom in online sales and purchases resulting from the COVID-19 crisis offered fraudsters a new window of opportunity. A 2021 survey evidenced the impact of the pandemic on e-commerce fraud, with three-quarters of online merchants worldwide reporting a net increase in fraud attempts since its onset. Security breaches took a heavy toll on the industry, whose losses to online payment fraud were estimated at 20 billion U.S. dollars that year. In light of this situation, the e-commerce fraud detection and prevention market is forecast to grow more than two-fold between 2021 and 2025, nearing 70 billion U.S. dollars.

In case of attacks, readiness is key

In 2021, e-merchants across the globe experienced varying types of fraud attacks, yet the most common one was friendly fraud. This fraud method involves consumers purchasing a product online and subsequently submitting a claim to their bank denying the purchase to receive their money back. A global study attested that Latin America and Asia-Pacific had the highest share of accepted online orders found to be friendly fraud. Overall, both world regions recorded the highest percentage of fraudulent e-commerce orders.

With fraudsters on the doorstep of online transactions, managing these attacks has never been more pressing for online retailers. According to a 2021 survey, more than nine out of ten companies considered e-commerce fraud management relevant to their business strategy. That said, many e-merchants reported improved capabilities against digital commerce attacks that year, with over a third saying they were able to identify attacks sooner. Card verification number (CVN) and email verification have been crucial in this regard, as they top the list of the most common fraud detection tools used by online merchants in 2021.

Fraud affects the consumer experience

If merchants have seen the monetary impact of cybercrime, buyers are not far behind either. In recent years, the overall proportion of victims of online shopping scams who lost money has not fallen below 70 percent. This scenario inevitably impacts the reputation of merchants and affects the confidence consumers place in them. In 2021, less than 40 percent of consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France expressed trust in merchants' ability to prevent e-commerce fraud.

Still, amid these challenges, there is hope. A study released the same year revealed that ensuring protection from fraud could be a stimulus for e-commerce usage. In the U.S. alone, about eight in ten consumers would buy online more often if they had protection against this threat.


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