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Mobile fraud on the rise as online transactions increase

By Catherine Knowles
Tue 29 Mar 2022

There has been a significant shift to mobile fraud over the last four years, with mobile traffic representing 75% of all traffic.

This is according to LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ latest Cybercrime Report, which analyses transaction data from the LexisNexis Digital Identity Network in the second half of 2021.

The report analysed 35.5 billion transactions over the six-month period, which was up 44% year-over-year (YoY).

According to the researchers, this stemmed from increased transaction volumes from existing customers and an increased customer base within the Digital Identity Network.

Though global pandemic related restrictions eased in the second half of 2021, the report found online transaction volumes continued to grow, specifically across financial services (52% YoY) and communications, mobile and media (45% YoY).

Increasing consumer confidence leads to enhanced demand for a customer-centric digital world. Companies are prioritising their digital customer experience strategies to retain and acquire new customers, which is advantageous for legitimate consumers but may lead to opportunities for fraudsters, the researchers state.

Other key findings from The LexisNexis Risk Solutions Cybercrime Report, July to December 2021, include the following.

It's the age for mobile. Global accelerated digitalisation and adoption of mobile applications fuelled by the pandemic continued across a multitude of different demographics and geographies.

The first Cybercrime Report published in 2014 indicated that the percentage of mobile traffic in the Digital Identity Network was a mere 25%. In the second half of 2021, the mobile transaction split reached 75% for the first time.

This shift was driven by a few factors: a predominance of mobile usage amongst younger generations; mobile app-only fintechs and the emerging market population moving straight to mobile and skipping desktop altogether; and the rapid decrease of service data and smart handset costs.

The report also found that automated bot attacks continue to rise, and human initiated attacks were also on the up. According to LexisNexis, automated bot attacks grew 32% YoY globally. Human-initiated attacks rose for the first time since 2019.

Finally, the report found that just one fraudster can leave a large footprint. The Digital Identity Network observed one fraudulent digital identity that attacked 35 different organisations and had 580 events associated with it.

These included: 100 attempted account/creations/credit card applicants/loan applications; 45 attempted ecommerce purchases; 12 attempted password resets; and seven attempted changes to account details.

According to LexisNexis, the ability for organisations to benefit from global shared intelligence enables them to identify and stop more attempted fraud in real-time, as fraudsters continue to benefit from breached identity data and automated bot credentials testing.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions vice president of fraud and identity strategy Stephen Topliss says, “It is time to unite in the fight against cyber crime.

"In a truly global digital economy, borders are no longer boundaries for trade or cyber criminals. It is more apparent than ever that fraud goes beyond single industries or countries.

"For businesses to succeed in the digital world, they need to collaborate in the fight against fraud. This can be achieved by utilising the power of a global anonymised digital identity network and through the establishment of more focused digital consortiums among industry peers.”

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