ID fraud soars during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Arguably the biggest retail event on the planet (perhaps rivalled only by Singles Day in China), Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent some of the biggest spending of the year. 2019 was no exception. Already figures are showing it to be an ‘exceptional’ year in the UK. Barclaycard stats reveal that transaction value for Black Friday was up 16.5 per cent compared with last year, with the volume of transactions up 7.2 per cent. Cyber Monday figures show that transaction volume was up a similar amount too. 

Unsurprisingly, once again the lion’s share of shopping was online. However, whilst this means less fighting on the shop floor for physical bargains, there is an increased risk of ID fraud.

Research shows that over the Black Friday weekend a quarter of shoppers experienced attempts at fraud, with scammers trying to take advantage of the quick-fire environment using fake websites, ID theft and phoney advertisements.

One of the most commonly used tactics is fake websites offering branded goods at rock bottom prices. Citizens Advice says more than 13,000 people reported such issues with customers being hit by an average loss of £215. Ultimately if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Clearly, there are pitfalls for consumers, but Black Friday also represents danger for retailers too. With increased volume of sales; many coming through online, spotting fraudulent orders becomes harder in the rush to fulfil the orders. Identity fraudsters know and count on this and therefore the amount of orders made using stolen personal information rises. According to our research conducted amongst ex-offenders this time of year is a notorious hive of activity for scammers.

It is proven that a popular technique used to obtain high ticket items fraudulently is stealing the identity of someone that has passed away. This can be achieved through mail theft, or mining the personal information provided in obituaries and death certificates. By cloning the personal details of someone that has died identity fraudsters can order thousands of pounds worth of goods and be secure in the knowledge that they are unlikely to get caught. This is why in heavy retail periods such as Black Friday it is critical for retailers to protect themselves by using products such as Halo which flags any orders made in the name of someone that is known to have died. This means that the order can be checked and stopped if fraudulent.

For further information about how we can help you protect yourself against deceased ID fraud please don’t hesitate to contact us.