Rampant Identity Fraud Becoming a Global Epidemic

In South America, there is a one-in-four chance that someone else is using your identity to commit online fraud, according to new data from ThreatMetrix.

The ThreatMetrix Q1 2018 Cybercrime Report noted that one quarter of all account registrations from South America are rejected as fraudulent.

Access is the primary motivator. Cybercriminals use stolen and synthesized identities to penetrate the growing LATAM eCommerce market and global US retail giants. Another significant fraud tactic is creating fake new accounts using free trials and reselling them for profit. 

“Billions of online users are generating huge swathes of data and unfortunately it is becoming easier and easier for cybercriminals to steal and monetize this, wherever they are in the world. Stolen data gives cybercrime a fraudulent mask, as they highjack identities to open new accounts, takeover legitimate user accounts or perform fraudulent transactions. To combat this, digital businesses must embrace 360-degree identity insights that stitch together both offline and online attributes to confirm that users really are who they say they are,” Vanita Pandey, Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategy at ThreatMetrix said in a press release.

Overall, developing economies are epicenters for global crime. In turn, they are impacting the economies surrounding them.

For example, attacks from Brazil, a top five country for attack origination, target neighboring countries such as Argentina and Columbia as well as leading digital economies in the US and the UK. In the Asia Pacific region, Vietnam retains its pole position in the area for originating attacks, with most targeting Japan, Singapore, and Australia.

Organized bot attacks continue to increase, with a record 1 billion bot attacks seen on the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network last quarter. It is fueled by a rise in attacks originating from new and emerging economies such as Egypt, South Korea, Ecuador, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

Globally, 210 million attacks were detected and stopped in real time during Q1, a 62% year-on-year increase. Attacks on mobile account creation grew 150% since the start of 2017, while more cybercriminals are targeting payment processors as consumer shift their buying behaviors online.