Survey: Digital fraud grows along with e-commerce

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Shoppers are not the only ones doing more business online since the outbreak of COVID-19.

According to a new survey of 2,000 U.S. and U.K. consumers from global card issuing platform Marqeta, 80% of respondents said they increased the amount they shop online during COVID-19. However, the “Marqeta 2021 Online Fraud Report” indicates consumer anxieties around online fraud, as well as actual online fraud rates, are rising in tandem with increased e-commerce participation.

Two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they are more concerned about fraud since COVID-19, and roughly the same percentage (67%) said they think shopping online more during COVID-19 has put them at a higher risk of fraud. Close to six in 10 (58%) said they think the risk of fraud makes them less likely to try new forms of payment.

One-quarter of respondents said they have been victims of online fraud in the past 12 months, a 25% increase from the 2020 edition of the survey. The number of times consumers have been affected by fraud has also seen an uptick, with 52% of respondents who reported being affected by fraud saying they were impacted two or more times, compared to 48% in 2020. Additionally, 43% of respondents said they were a target of phishing scams or attempts to steal payment details in the last year.
When digging into how consumers were most affected by fraud, the survey also saw an increase in reported cases of various types of fraud, compared with 2020 survey. The number of respondents who reported having their debit card information stolen increased by more than 20% to 37% from 31%.

In addition, respondents who reported having their physical cards stolen increased by more than 60% to 36% from 22.5%. Respondents who reported having stolen personal information used to open fake accounts increased by 122% to 20% from 9%.
Marqeta’s survey also showed one age group in particular - consumers aged 18-34 years old - was impacted by fraudsters at exponentially higher rates. Seven in 10 (69%) of respondents in this age group who reported having been victims of fraud said they were affected within the last 12 months, compared to 48% of total respondents, making them 40% more likely to be impacted by fraud in the last 12 months. Almost two-thirds (64%) of 18-to-34-year-olds said they were victims for the first time in the last 12 months, compared to 48% of total respondents.