LexisNexis Cybercrime Report 2021 Reveals Mobile Fraud Surge

LexisNexis Risk Solutions this week released the results of its latest Cybercrime Report, an analysis of transaction data from the LexisNexis Digital Identity Network in the second half of 2021. The report shows a significant shift to mobile fraud over the last four years, with mobile traffic representing 75% of all traffic.

The Cybercrime Report analyzed 35.5 billion transactions over the six-month period, up 44% year over year (YoY). This stemmed from increased transaction volumes from existing customers and an increased customer base within the Digital Identity Network. Though global pandemic-related restrictions eased in the second half of 2021, the report found online transaction volumes continued to grow, specifically across financial services (52% YoY) and communications, mobile and media (45% YoY).

Increasing consumer confidence leads to enhanced demand for a customer-centric digital world. Companies are prioritizing their digital customer experience strategies to retain and acquire new customers, which is advantageous for legitimate consumers but may lead to opportunities for fraudsters.

Global accelerated digitalization and adoption of mobile applications fueled by the pandemic continued across a multitude of different demographics and geographies. The first Cybercrime Report published in 2014 indicated the percentage of mobile traffic in the Digital Identity Network was 25%. In the second half of 2021, the mobile transaction split reached 75% for the first time.

This shift was driven by a few factors, including a predominance of mobile usage amongst younger generations; mobile app-only fintechs and the emerging market population moving straight to mobile and skipping desktop altogether; and the rapid decrease of service data and smart handset costs.

Cryptocurrency excitement together with pent-up consumer savings, relief checks, and increased online shopping due to Omicron, fueled U.S. transaction growth while triggering a rise in scams. The Digital Identity Network tracked 15.3 billion transactions in the U.S. and Canada in the second half of 2021, up 22% YoY. There was also a significant rise in human-initiated attacks, with a growth of 50% YoY based on 157 million attacks.

Since 2019, automated bot attacks grew 32% YoY globally, with LATAM showing the highest growth at 455%. The U.S. and Canada has seen a seven % YoY decrease with 692 million attacks. Human-initiated attacks rose for the first time since 2019.

Just one fraudster can leave a large footprint. The Digital Identity Network observed one fraudulent digital identity that attacked 35 different organizations and had 580 events associated with it. These included 100 attempted account/creations/credit card applicants/loan applications; 45 attempted e-commerce purchases; 12 attempted password resets; and seven attempted changes to account details. The ability for organizations to benefit from global shared intelligence enables them to identify and stop more attempted fraud in real-time as fraudsters continue to benefit from breached identity data and automated bot credentials testing.

“It is time to unite in the fight against cybercrime. In a truly global digital economy, borders are no longer boundaries for trade or cybercriminals. It is more apparent than ever that fraud goes beyond single industries or countries,” said Stephen Topliss, vice president of fraud and identity strategy for LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “For businesses to succeed in the digital world, they need to collaborate in the fight against fraud. This can be achieved by utilizing the power of a global anonymized digital identity network and through the establishment of more focused digital consortiums among industry peers.”

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