Attempts to commit online fraud jumped during the holiday season, increasing 22 percent from Thanksgiving to December compared to a year ago.
That's according to new data from payments company ACI Worldwide, which found that along with the fraud increase, overall online transactions also jumped 19 percent from Thanksgiving to the end of 2017.
“Over the 2017 holiday shopping season, merchants experienced significant growth in their digital channels, coupled with a substantial increase in fraud,” said Erika Dietrich, director of risk management for ACI Worldwide in a press release. “The consistent, alarming uptick in fraudulent activity on key dates is a signal that merchants must be proactive in their efforts to identify weak points across the omnichannel payment process – and define the short- and long-term strategies necessary to improve security and enhance customer experience.”
According to ACI, the number of fraud attempts was the highest on Thanksgiving Day at 1.94 percent, up from 1.26 percent in the year-ago period. Christmas Eve came in second place, with 1.78 percent fraud attempts up from 1.48 percent. Following that was Dec. 21 (the cutoff date for express shipments), with 1.67 percent fraud attempts compared to 1.49 percent in the prior year.
ACI said peak fraud days are typically driven by shipment cutoffs, levels of consumer traffic and transactions that are purchased online and picked up in stores.
The average size of the attempted fraud transaction was $227 for the entire holiday period, which is one percent higher than in 2016, when the average was $239. ACI also found that in 2017, one out of every 85 transactions was a fraudulent attempt, compared to one out of every 95 in 2016 and one out of every 109 in 2015.
Overall eCommerce spending on Thanksgiving Day was $2.87 billion, up 18.3 percent year over year, while total Black Friday spending was $5.03 billion, marking a 16.9 percent increase year-over-year in transaction volume growth.