PYMNTS and Forter Report Shows eCommerce Fraud Attack Rates Up 215% During 2015

New report finds fraud attempts increased 11% since October 2015 liability shift.

Botnets drive 83% of U.S. fraud attacks

BOSTON--()--A new report confirms what the online merchant community has been expecting since the October 2015 EMV liability shift: that fraud would move online. The latest release of the Global Fraud Attack IndexTM, issued today, shows that attacks from fraudsters rose 215% over the course of 2015, and rose 11% between Q3 2015 and Q4 2015.

The Global Fraud Attack IndexTM — a collaboration between PYMNTS and Forter — is released quarterly and measures the rates, methods and originations of global fraud attempts on U.S. merchant websites in five key segments: digital goods, clothing and footwear, electronics, food and beverage, and luxury items, which includes high-end jewelry.

“What we’re seeing in this quarter’s Index is a disturbing but expected trend,” said Michael Reitblat, CEO of Forter. “Since the October 2015 liability shift and the onset of EMV chip cards in brick-and-mortar stores, its clear fraudsters have not retired. Rather, they are flowing into the online world like no other time before.”

This release of the Global Fraud Attack IndexTM examined four things:

  • The type of fraud that fraudsters utilized most
  • The countries in which fraud attacks are originating
  • The occurrence of eCommerce fraud in the merchant segments that are most targeted
  • The type of attack being used by fraudsters

The Index also includes a deep dive into botnets, the networks of computers taken over by fraudsters to make large-scale attacks on sales. The Index revealed that botnets represent 83% of all eCommerce fraud in the U.S. across the indexed categories.

“To say that online fraud costs U.S. merchants big time is an understatement,” said Karen Webster, CEO of “The Global Fraud Attack Index shows us this time that nearly $5 of every $100 online sale is at risk from fraudsters. Our hope is that The Index is a tool that retailers can use to make sure that every dollar of sales goes to their bottom line and not into the pockets of the bad guys.”

Key highlights from the latest Global Fraud Attack IndexTM are:

  • $4.79 out of every $100 of sales by U.S. merchants across the five merchant categories studied are at risk from fraudsters.
  • In Q4 2015 alone, there were 27 fraud attempts for every 1,000 transactions on U.S. merchant sites.
  • Fraud attempts on digital goods more than quadrupled from Q1 2015 to Q4 2015.
  • The percent of transaction dollars at risk of fraud rose 14% from Q3 2015 to Q4 2015 — and 151% overall for the year.

To access the full report, please click here.

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Forter provides new generation fraud prevention to meet the challenges faced by modern enterprise eCommerce. Only Forter provides fully automated, real-time Decision as a ServiceTM fraud prevention, with approve/decline decisions backed by a 100% chargeback guarantee. The system eliminates the need for rules, scores or manual reviews, making fraud prevention friction-free.

The result is fraud prevention that is invisible to buyers and empowers merchants with increased approvals, smoother checkout and the near elimination of false positives - meaning more sales and happier customers. Behind the scenes, Forter’s machine learning technology combines advanced cyber intelligence with behavioral and identity analysis to create a multi-layered fraud detection mechanism.

Aidan Leary, 617-374-4700

Release Summary

A new report confirms what the online merchant community has been expecting since the October 2015 EMV liability shift: that fraud would move online.

Aidan Leary, 617-374-4700