Credit Card Crypto Crime Climbing: Report

n.exchange, a cryptocurrency exchange specializing in fiat on- and off-ramp services, this week unveiled its crypto purchase credit card fraud attempt figures for 2019-2021. It highlights a significant rise in fraudulent purchase attempts by cyber criminals using stolen card details, most of which was perpetrated from countries in the Western hemisphere.

The most noteworthy data from n.exchange relates to geography, annual change, and the average value of attempted fraudulent purchases. The top three countries from which fraudulent crypto purchases were attempted on n.exchange were all in the Western hemisphere—Canada, Costa Rica, and the United Kingdom. n.exchange also recorded almost a threefold increase in attempted fraud in 2021 to date versus across all of 2020. So far this year, 10.1 per cent of all cryptocurrency transactions on its platform were deemed to be fraudulent credit card attempts, up from 3.7 per cent in 2020. Cybercriminals attempted to fraudulently purchase €934 worth of cryptocurrency, on average, on n.exchange’s platform.

Between 2013 and 2019, credit card fraud totals more than doubled from just over $13 billion to $28 billion, according to a Nilson report. By 2021, the total is expected to balloon further to north of $32 billion. With the cryptocurrency market expected to grow by a CAGR of 56.4 per cent between 2019 and 2025, and nearly 20 per cent of Bitcoin buyers using credit cards in 2018, credit card fraud for crypto purchases will rise.

n.exchange employs three-tier verification measures for high-value and high-risk purchasers in order to identify and intercept fraud.

“The sharp increase in attempted fraud we’ve witnessed this year should be a reminder to both users and exchanges alike that credit card fraud and identity theft are a real and growing threat, and one that needs to be combatted on both sides,” says Gustavo De La Torre, director of Business Development at n.exchange. “Cybercriminals will continue to set the pace, so a two-pronged approach is vital; users need to protect themselves by practicing good cyber-hygiene, while exchanges need to continuously revise their fraud protection measures to ensure they are current and fit for purpose in a threat landscape that is constantly evolving—a campaign n.exchange is firmly committed to by continuously optimizing our own protocols and protections.”

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