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New Ravelin survey: tracking the rise of friendly fraud – the dark side of online shopping

Ravelin's new consumer fraud survey sheds light on the motivations, intentions and methods of first-party fraudsters – 40% of whom admit to committing fraud or abuse against online retailers in the past year.

15 November 2023

New Ravelin survey: tracking the rise of friendly fraud – the dark side of online shopping

We have just released the findings of the first definitive consumer fraud survey across Europe: The Dark Side of Online Shopping – the Rise of Friendly Fraud.

Our survey of over 6,000 consumers in the UK, France, and Germany has found that more than 40% of internet shoppers admit to committing fraud within the last 12 months, while 36% are considering committing fraud in the future.

These consumer fraudsters are costing merchants millions in lost revenues each year and destroying their bottom lines.

Earlier this year, our Global Fraud Trends and Payments Survey 2023 found that over a third of finance leaders would describe first-party fraud, including chargeback fraud, returns and promotions abuse, as the number one risk factor facing their business. And that around half agree fraud by customers has increased compared with a year ago.

It’s a fast-growing problem but, until now, little was known about people's motivations.

Our survey reveals people’s attitudes to and motivations for abusing generous policies, loyalty schemes, and promotions. It shows the worst offenders, the types of fraud they’ve attempted, how much they have gained, and the companies most at risk.

Some of the findings are surprising: 40% of online shoppers admit to committing first-party fraud, and the most significant perpetrators – 41% – are the over-45s. Rather than young chancers, this group is the most financially stretched and stressed, and they are reportedly tempted into fraud to help take the pressure off.

As for motivations, the cost of living crisis across much of Europe has taken its toll. 51% of offenders cite it as the trigger for their behavior. Others blame the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment, having children, or starting school and university as they look for ways to save money and get better deals.

Consumer fraudsters are also discerning about who they target. Their values, ethics, circumstances, and a belief that big, faceless companies won’t notice, drive their actions. Yet, broadly, they think what they’re doing is okay and that brands make it easy. And they’re not planning to stop anytime soon.

Download The Dark Side of Online Shopping – the Rise of Friendly Fraud to get access to detailed statistics and charts on consumer fraud across the UK, France, and Germany.

Get the full report and additional resources here.

If you'd like to learn more about how Ravelin helps prevent and block consumer fraud, as well as other types of fraud, get in touch today.


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