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Significant shift to mobile fraud - LexisNexis Risk Solutions report

By Shannon Williams
Mon 28 Mar 2022

There has been a significant shift to mobile fraud over the last four years, with mobile traffic representing 75% of all traffic, according to a new report from LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

The LexisNexis Risk Solutions Cybercrime Report is an analysis of transaction data from the LexisNexis Digital Identity Network in the second half of 2021. It analysed 35.5 billion transactions over the six-month period, up 44% year over year. 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).

According to LexisNexis Risk Solutions, 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.

"It is time to unite in the fight against cybercrime. In a truly global digital economy, borders are no longer boundaries for trade or cybercriminals. It is more apparent than ever that fraud goes beyond single industries or countries," says Stephen Topliss, vice president of fraud and identity strategy for LexisNexis Risk Solutions. 

"For businesses to succeed in the digital world, they need to collaborate in the fight against fraud," he says. 

"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."

Key findings from The LexisNexis Risk Solutions Cybercrime Report, July to December 2021:

Welcome to the mobile age 
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.

Scams on the rise in North America 
Cryptocurrency excitement together with pent-up consumer savings, relief checks and increased online shopping due to Omicron, fuelled U.S. transaction growth while triggering a rise in scams. The Digital Identity Network tracked 15.3 billion transactions in the U.S. and Canada in the second half of 2021, up 22% YoY. There was also a significant rise in human-initiated attacks, with a growth of 50% YoY based on 157 million attacks.

Automated bot attacks continue to rise
Automated bot attacks grew 32% YoY globally, with LATAM showing the highest growth at 455%. The U.S. and Canada has seen a 7% YoY decrease with 692 million attacks. Human-initiated attacks rose for the first time since 2019.

The life of a prolific fraudster 
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. 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. 

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