Ecommerce fraud trends and statistics merchants need to know in 2024
Article at a glance
- Global ecommerce fraud is increasing, with losses reaching $41 million in 2022 and predicted to exceed $48 billion in 2023.
- Europe faces significant ecommerce fraud risk, with Germany and France being hardest hit.
- North America has the highest fraudulent transaction value globally, accounting for over 42% of ecommerce fraud.
- Latin America experiences 20% revenue loss to fraud, with 3.7% of ecommerce orders being fraudulent.
- By incorporating machine learning, AI, risk-scoring, and behavioral analysis, retailers can establish multi-pronged fraud prevention measures to combat the ever-changing landscape of fraud threats.
With dramatic global growth and expansion across ecommerce, fraud continues to surge. Let’s take a look at the trends and statistics you’ll need to know. Losses on ecommerce online payment fraud hit $41 million last year, in 2022 and, according to Juniper Research, the total cost of ecommerce fraud to merchants will exceed $48 billion globally this year. Of this startling figure, North America is cited as comprising 42% of fraud by value, followed by Europe at 26%. More terrifying for merchants still, it is predicted that the cumulative losses to online payment fraud globally between now and 2027 will exceed $343 billion.
The global statistics of ecommerce fraud
Europe and the UK
Across Europe, Germany and France are the hardest hit by ecommerce fraud. This comes as no surprise, given the popularity of online retail in both countries. Indeed, despite 93% of Europeans worrying about the rising cost of living, according to a recent European Parliamentary survey, the German B2C ecommerce market was forecast to grow and ecommerce sales hit over €129bn in France in 2021. Specifically, two out of every three online retailers in Germany identified an increase in ecommerce fraud, while over 85% of online merchants in Switzerland reported having been struck by fraudsters last year.
Juniper’s recent research has identified North America as having the largest fraudulent transaction value of any regional market. Specifically, the region accounts for over 42% of global ecommerce fraud (by value) in 2023. One of the key risk factors in this particular market is the incredible volume of data breaches across the region, along with the everyday availability of stolen credit cards.
The US is the most fraud-prone country with 34% of consumers saying they were most likely to have been victims of fraud, with that percentage likely to be higher today.
Latin America and Caribbean (LAC)
With particularly impressive ecommerce growth over the past few years across LAC, the region is also facing a significant surge in fraud. In fact, 20% of all ecommerce revenue is said to be lost to fraud in Latin America, putting it only second to South East Asia on this measure.
In another survey conducted in 2022 of global retailers, it was found that on average, 3.7% of all ecommerce orders in Latin America were fraudulent. However, while that region had the highest proportion of fraudulent domestic online orders, Asia-Pacific ranked first in fraudulent international web orders.
Asia Pacific (APAC) and Southeast Asia (SEA)
With 64% of global online retail spending now happening across APAC and a 570% increase in the SEA ecommerce market size since 2016, is it any wonder that fraud is such a challenge in the region? As per our infographic, so severe is the problem of ecommerce fraud in APAC alone, that the cost of each fraudulent transaction costs merchants $4 – adding up to around 5% of lost revenue per year.
The latest trends in ecommerce fraud
While we have written extensively about the fraud trends affecting the online retail industry, there are several emerging ecommerce fraud threats worth the extra deep dive.
The fraudulent exploitation of promotional incentives in a manner outside their intended use, Ravelin reported promotion abuse as the fastest-growing ecommerce fraud threat facing online marketplaces, with 52% of companies in 2021 noticing an increase. That same year, reports found that the scam cost retailers in the US more than $89 billion annually; with our partners at Kount revealing that 42% of merchants surveyed actually allow their consumers to abuse their promotions.
In 2022, Bloomberg reported PayPal had to shut down 4.5 million accounts last year upon discovering “bad actors” had hacked their incentive and rewards program. The fallout was significant, with revenue loss that not only negatively impacted business but also saw shares plummet.
It’s almost cruel what a misnomer-friendly fraud is for this insidious scam. Also known as first-party fraud or chargeback abuse, friendly fraud may not be attributed to criminal enterprises, but it can still cause significant damage to online retailers. In fact, recent reporting estimates that merchants are expected to pay over $100 billion in chargebacks this year alone and it is suggested that friendly fraud will represent 61% of all chargebacks.
Friendly fraud occurs when a consumer makes an online purchase only to then dispute it with their bank, resulting in a chargeback. This is a serious problem for merchants, given they bear more than 75% of the financial impact.
Account takeover (ATO)
As a universal problem for companies across industries, we have regularly written about account takeover fraud. A well-known identity theft hack, ATO happens when a fraudster illegally hacks access to a site using stolen credentials. In 2023, ATO continues to be an ecommerce fraud that threatens online marketplaces, increasing by 131% in the second half of 2022 compared to H1 in 2021.
In SEA, throughout the 2022 peak shopping season of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ATO increased by 35% compared to the same period in 2021.
Naturally, triangulation fraud involves three main players – a customer, a fraudster and a merchant. The general method of this ecommerce fraud is this: a fraudster sets up a fake marketplace online and offers products at discounted prices. Next, a consumer, seeking a deal, comes upon the listing and places an order. The fraudster then collects all the PII and payment details from this customer and charges their card. They then place an order with the legitimate marketplace with another cardholder’s payment details and the marketplace sends the product to the original consumer. Everyone is happy until the poor cardholder realizes an unauthorized payment has been made for a product they never ordered. Suddenly, the merchant is hit with a chargeback.
While current losses tied directly to triangulation fraud can be hard to quantify, this form of ecommerce fraud is ultimately a card-not-present attack, which, collectively, is estimated to cost merchants worldwide approximately $130 billion by the end of 2023.
Emerging ecommerce fraud threats
As the fastest-growing app of all time, ChatGPT has absolutely blown up. Is it any wonder, then, that hackers have started using these AI tools and chatbots for nefarious purposes? Reports have indicated just how widespread this threat is with the discovery of over 50 fake AI apps scamming unsuspecting users by deploying phishing attacks to capture their personal and payment data. Furthermore, instances of ChatGPT being used to create malware continue to develop. Indeed, as AI grows more sophisticated, online retailers will need to stay on top of their game as they are faced with generative AI being used for fraud.
How to fight back against ecommerce fraud
When it comes to fighting back against current and emerging ecommerce fraud threats, our mantra is simple: you’re not alone. Adopting a multi-layered approach to your fraud prevention strategy is key. A recent survey found that 70% of companies use three or more tools to help strike the right balance between ecommerce fraud prevention efforts and a smooth consumer experience at each touchpoint.
Deploying best-in-class tools and features, including machine learning algorithms, AI technologies, risk-scoring abilities, behavioral element analysis and rich data networks enable merchants to make faster, more confident risk decisions about consumers at both onboarding and transaction. As always, be sure you enlist only those solutions that do not negatively impact your good customers. Indeed, the right identity verification solution will keep your customer experience front of mind, streamlining their workflow according to their fraud risk profile. Because, in an ever-crowded marketplace, customer loyalty matters as much as ecommerce fraud prevention.