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News

Africa at the top of the online fraud table

Iovation : 22 February, 2013  (Technical Article)
Iovation lists the top continents involved in online fraud with Africa and Asia topping the league table
Africa at the top of the online fraud table

iovation has found that Africa had the highest rate of online fraud when compared to all other continents in 2012. Billions of online transactions processed with ReputationManager 360—iovation’s shared device reputation and real-time fraud prevention service—were analyzed for geographic trends. The list of the top five continents that originated online fraud in 2012 were:

1 Africa—7 percent of all transactions were fraudulent, with the highest percentages from Nigeria and Ghana.
2 Asia—5 percent of all transactions were fraudulent, with higher than normal percentages from Bangladesh, Vietnam and India.
3 South America—4 percent of all transactions were fraudulent, with Chile and Brazil recording the highest percentages for the region.
4 Europe—2 percent of all transactions were fraudulent, with the highest percentages from Poland, Romania and Portugal.
5 North America—1 percent of all transactions were fraudulent, with Mexico leading the list.

“While fraud origins are regionally diverse, these geographies were unified in the kinds of fraud cybercriminals attempted,” said Scott Waddell, Chief Technology Officer at iovation. “The majority of fraud in 2012 involved credit card fraud, identity theft, and account takeover or hijacking attempts.”

When examining the industries targeted, iovation found the following by continent:

1 Africa—The majority of fraudulent transactions originating from Africa targeted online dating and retail websites. The continent’s top offenses included credit card fraud, identity theft, profile misrepresentation, and online scams and solicitations.

2 Asia—Nearly half of all fraudulent transactions targeted retail websites, with online dating and massively multiplayer online gaming fraud making up a solid third. Major offenses in retail included credit card fraud, identity theft and shipping fraud, while gaming offenses included gold farming, chargebacks, chat spam, and theft of virtual goods through account hijackings.

3 South America—70 percent of fraudulent transactions targeted retail websites, with credit card fraud and identity theft once again topping the list. The majority of fraudulent transactions targeted gaming and online dating, followed by financial services.

4 Europe— Transactions originating from Europe that were deemed fraudulent were more evenly spread across various industries including retail, dating, gaming, gambling, financial services, travel and telecommunications.

5 North America—Like Europe, fraudulent transactions from North America were spread across a diverse group of industries including retail, gaming, financial services, travel and logistics. Credit card fraud, identity theft, spam and solicitations, and account takeover attempts were most prominent.

Many of the fraudsters attempted to mask their true location and bypass fraud prevention processes by using web proxies. iovation determines the true location for fraudulent transactions using Real IP, which is part of its ReputationManager 360 device reputation service. Real IP bypasses proxy IPs and goes directly to the source to determine each device’s true IP and geolocation. With this information, businesses can:

* Link seemingly unrelated accounts and behaviour to a common source IP address
* Block access from unsupported or high-risk areas of the world
* See the true region, country, state and city of the device
* Identify legitimate users who are using proxy IPs to protect their privacy

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