Security & Fraud

NEW DATA: Global Account Takeovers Spike 45 Percent

Account takeovers have become a new favorite for fraudsters over the course of just a quarter. And, in the wake of the Equifax breach that the exposed personal data of approximately 143 million Americans, the scheme will likely become even more popular with bad actors in the coming weeks and months.

According to data from the October 2017 Global Fraud Index, a PYMNTS and Signifyd collaboration, account takeover use recently skyrocketed, climbing 45 percent in Q2 2017 alone. All told, merchants lost $3.3 billion to the popular fraud technique in only a few months, and that may only be the beginning. It’s still the early days of the aftermath of Equifax, and while it remains to be seen just how much ammunition it has given fraudsters, reports indicate account takeovers have already jumped by 15 percent since.

The increase in account takeovers is symptomatic of the larger landscape of fraud. The Index finds that while fraud is still well below the highs of Q1 2016, it’s been rising steadily over the past three quarters, and now nearly 4 percent of purchases are affected by it.

Other key takeaways from the October 2017 Global Fraud Index include:

  • $57.8 billion: value of potential fraud in the eight industries examined in the Index.
  • 5.5 percent: increase in total fraud from Q2 2016 to Q2 2017.
  • 11.64 percent: fraud rate of transactions exceeding $500, 22 times higher than the rate of transactions worth less than $100.
  • 171.9 percent: increase in the rate of fraud in the cosmetics and perfumes industry.

For all the latest findings, along with analysis, trends and a special section focused on fraud in Australia, please download the Index by filling out the form below.

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About the Index 

The Global Fraud Index™, a PYMNTS and Signifyd collaboration, analyzes fraud attempts on eCommerce merchant websites, reflected as a percentage of eCommerce sales transactions, and tracks what’s trending. Have the attempts gone up? Down? Stable? That’s pretty critical, because the key to preventing fraud is understanding where it is originating, which tools the fraudsters are using and which industries and areas are being targeted.

The Fraud Index reports this in several ways. Each Index includes a metric that quantifies the rate of fraud attempts on eCommerce merchants and how that rate changes over time. It examines different aspects of fraud, such as which countries or regions are most seriously threatened and which industries should take a closer look at what’s happening around them. The Index also explores what can be done to stop or slow fraud trends and how those methods are (or are not) working.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.