TransUnion research shows Americans are being targeted by coronavirus-related digital fraud in alarming numbers.
As the coronavirus pandemic forces more Americans to stay at home, ecommerce has become a critical part of everyday life. Even basic necessities are being purchased online, rather than through physical stores. Bad actors are taking advantage of that trend, targeting Americans in an effort to defraud them.
TransUnion surveyed 1068 adults, finding 1 in 5 (22%) had been targeted with coronavirus-related digital fraud. “In the report, TransUnion Global Fraud & Identity Solutions reported a 347% increase in account takeover and 391% rise in shipping fraud attempts globally against its online retail customers from 2018 to 2019.”
Methods of taking over accounts included buying credentials on the dark web, social engineering, romance scams, phishing and more. Once an account is taken over, fraudsters can steal packages by intercepting them at the carrier and changing the shipping address, rather than attracting attention by doing it online.
“With so many reported data breaches, it’s not just about if your account will be hijacked, it’s about when,” said Melissa Gaddis, senior director of customer success for TransUnion Fraud & Identity Solutions. “Once a fraudster breaks into an account, they have access to everything imaginable resulting in stolen credit card numbers and reward points, fraudulent purchases, and redirecting shipments to other addresses.”
TransUnsion’s report is a good reminder that, even in a time of global crisis, individuals need to practice solid cybersecurity to keep their information, purchases and finances safe.