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Digital fraud attempts in financial industry increased by 149% — TransUnion

New research from TransUnion reveals that digital fraud attempts in the financial services industry increased by 149% globally in the first five months of 2021 compared with the last four months of last year. In the Philippines, the consumer credit reporting agency finds an increase of 50% in digital fraud.

TransUnion also found that across industries, the rate of suspected digital fraud attempts globally rose 24% when comparing the first four months of 2021 with the last four months of 2020. The percentage of digital fraud attempts coming from the Philippines increased 19% during the same time period.

“While this industry is traditionally known for in-person transactions, fraudsters have recognized its rapid digital acceleration and are trying to capitalize,” said Pia Arellano, president and CEO, TransUnion Philippines. “We are seeing more financial services organizations implement fraud prevention solutions with some success, though our findings make it clear that this is not the time to relax. As the economy begins to open up and perform better, businesses need to do even more to ensure they are providing a secure marketplace that offers friction-right experiences to consumers.”

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TransUnion research shows increase in digital fraud attempts against PH consumers

TransUnion monitors digital fraud attempts reported by businesses in different industries such as communities, financial services, gambling, gaming, retail, and telecommunications, among others. The conclusions are based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in its flagship identity proofing, risk-based authentication, and fraud analytics solution suite – TransUnion TruValidate.


Telecommunications is also a relevant industry during the pandemic but the report found that along with logistics, telco experienced declines in digital fraud attempts during the same period.

TransUnion’s March 2021 assessment, which analyzed the pre- and post-pandemic declaration periods (March 11, 2019-March 10, 2020 and March 11, 2020-March 10, 2021), found the opposite with telecommunications and logistics having the two largest suspected digital fraud rate increases between the periods, respectively. Financial services had the third-highest increase in the rate of suspected digital fraud during the March analysis and jumped to the top spot this time.

TransUnion defines true identity theft, the top type of digital fraud in financial services, as the consumer using a stolen identity (from a victim who is a real person) to commit fraud. The second and third types of digital fraud most reported by TransUnion financial services customers are first-party application fraud and account takeover, respectively.