Any transaction conducted over the internet can be considered eCommerce.
It’s simply the term used to describe the buying and selling of goods and services, when the sales are conducted online.
The eCommerce market officially started in August 1984 when the first CD was sold via electronic communication.
Of course, it’s come a long way since then.
Today, an estimated five billion people have access to the internet.
That’s roughly two-thirds of the global population.
Alongside this, estimates suggest there are over 1.5 billion websites.
The majority of these offer items or services for sale.
In short, thanks to the digital revolution, it’s possible to order almost anything online and have it delivered directly to your door.
Unfortunately, the internet also provides plenty of opportunities for criminals.
As the following eCommerce fraud statistics show, it’s on the increase and something everyone needs to be aware of.
Types Of Ecommerce Frauds
Mention eCommerce fraud and most people think of hackers.
That’s people who manage to take over someone else’s account and then go shopping, using the hacked accounts details and funds.
Hackers use a variety of tools to gain login details and steal your account.
This includes guessing your password or creating false websites to trick you into revealing them. Hackers are generally considered the biggest risk on the internet.
Other types of eCommerce fraud are considered ‘friendly fraud’.
This refers to when consumers take advantage of offers to get free products, even if they are not entitled to them.
Let’s take a look at the latest eCommerce fraud statistics.
- 25% of shoppers will request a refund and keep the product
- 43% of e commerce customers have suffered from payment fraud
- 45% of US shoppers have undertaken refund fraud
- The fraud detection & prevention industry is worth $48 billion
- In 2022, 2.9% of global revenue was lost to ecommerce fraud
- The average ecommerce company spends 11% of its revenue fighting fraud
- Phishing remains the most popular tool for ecommerce fraud
- 18% of frauds are ‘friendly frauds’
- 59% of online businesses have seen an increase in payment fraud
- On average, an online business will use five fraud detection tools
- 92% of ecommerce frauds involve credit cards
- People aged between 25-34 are the most common ecommerce victims
- 47% of online businesses have suffered from fraud within the last two months
- 21% of consumers worry about credit card data being stolen
- 54% of all frauds now happen online
Top Ecommerce Fraud Statistics in 2023
1. 25% Of Shoppers Will Request A Refund And Keep The Product
Friendly fraud is becoming one of the largest problems for eCommerce retailers.
It occurs when consumers ask for a refund with no intention of returning the product.
Most eCommerce businesses will demand the product returned before they issue a refund.
However, if the cost of returning is high or the value of the product is low, the consumer can often successfully argue it’s not worth doing.
The cost to the business is significant but they need to consider their reputation. As such, many businesses acquiesce.
Unfortunately, consumers are becoming aware of this, as many as 25% of shoppers will request refunds with no intention of returning the product.
In other words, they will get the product for free.
Alarmingly, 22% of consumers are willing to lie about the condition of a product in order to get a refund and the product.
Others get a refund by returning a different product, one that is worth less. This happens in 24% of cases.
In 21% of cases consumers lie about delivery, claiming refunds because the product has not arrived.
2. 43% Of eCommerce Customers Have Suffered From Payment Fraud
The easiest way to classify payment fraud is when you lose your personal payment information and it is then used to purchase items.
It can be a result of someone hacking your system or a business to access data. It can also be a result of a scam, such as phishing.
According to the latest survey, nearly half of all online consumers have been a victim of payment fraud.
While a fraud attack will trigger the victim to change all the corresponding financial details, it appears they are likely to be targeted again.
Statistics show that 62% of victims will also be future victims.
In most cases they will be a victim of payment fraud between 2-4 times.
3. 45% Of US Shoppers Have Undertaken Refund Fraud
In a recent survey Riskified asked 1,000 online consumers whether they had performed specific actions, such as claiming a refund without returning an item or using multiple accounts to benefit from promotions.
A staggering 45% of respondents admitted to doing so.
Interestingly, 39% of those that did so didn’t realize this was considered fraud and a crime.
It’s worth noting that, of those asked, younger people were far more likely to undertake refund fraud or policy abuse.
An impressive 65% of those surveyed were aged between 18-29, just 22% of the respondents were older than 60.
4. The Fraud Detection & Prevention Industry Is Worth $48 Billion
One industry which has benefitted from the increased level of fraudulent activity is the fraud detection and prevention industry.
Thanks to the increase in fraud, the industry has grown at an impressive rate.
In 2021 the industry was worth $36.65 billion.
By 2022 its value had increased to $40.15 billion, and in 2023 it’s expected to reach $48 billion.
Perhaps more impressive is the predicted value. The industry is estimated to reach $103 billion by 2030.
The simple truth is, as long as there are cybercriminals the fraud detection and prevention industry will be needed and will grow in size.
5. In 2022, 2.9% Of Global Revenue Was Lost To Ecommerce Fraud
The figures from 2022 show that 2.9% of global business revenue was lost to fraud.
To give you a feel for how large a sum this is, the world’s top 100 companies generated $31.7 trillion in 2022.
That’s nearly $1 trillion lost to eCommerce fraud! Of course, the actual figure is lower as not all transactions are processed via eCommerce.
The good news is that the percentage is dropping! In 2021 the percentage of revenue lost to fraud was 3.6%.
It’s likely that the higher rates were partially due to the global pandemic and increased use of digital technology.
Only time will tell if the rate continues to drop.
6. The Average Ecommerce Company Spends 11% Of Its Revenue Fighting Fraud
As cybercriminals increase their fraud attempts, businesses have needed to increase their defense against fraud attacks.
It can be a costly endeavor, for many businesses it eliminates the savings made by not having physical premises.
It’s estimated that, on average, a business will spend 11% of its revenue fighting fraud.
This can be via applications to detect and prevent fraud, computer technicians, and the admin costs of fighting chargebacks and similar issues.
Interestingly, the figure is significantly higher in Latin America, where 19% of revenue is spent fighting fraud. North American companies spend closer to 10%.
Small businesses will spend a larger proportion of their revenue, an estimated 12%.
Large businesses are closer to 10% of revenue.
The cost of fighting fraud is similar for all businesses, larger companies simply have deeper pockets.
7. Phishing Remains The Most Popular Tool For Ecommerce Fraud
Credit card fraud is the most popular type of fraud.
However, for cybercriminals to do this they need to access credit card numbers and associated details.
While data breaches can often supply a lot of this information, it’s unpredictable to predict when a data breach will be successful.
Phishing, on the other hand, is successful in 79% of cases.
If hackers target a business and access a login, they can acquire all the information they need for hundreds or thousands of credit cards.
The latest Cybersource research shows that 43% of eCommerce businesses were victims of phishing fraud.
This was followed by 34% of online businesses being victims of friendly fraud.
Card testing, identity theft, and refund abuse are also rated highly.
8. 18% Of Frauds Are ‘Friendly frauds’
Friendly frauds cost businesses a lot of money.
In the first instance the business is likely to lose the product they’ve supplied. That’s alongside refunding the cost of the product.
Of course, in many cases the retailer doesn’t get a choice as the refund is done via a chargeback after the product has been sent.
In effect, the cost of the product is lost twice, along with shipping and admin costs.
It’s estimated that a $35 fraudulent refund to a customer can cost a business $100.
That’s as much as $10 billion annually lost to friendly frauds.
Businesses admit that some friendly frauds are genuine mistakes as customers and even businesses get confused and miscommunicate.
However, 58% of eCommerce retailers believe that the desire for free products is driving this type of fraud.
In other words, it’s being performed intentionally by genuine customers.
Potentially as a result of the modern need to materially keep up with your neighbors.
9. 59% Of Online Businesses Have Seen An Increase In Payment Fraud
The statistics show that online fraud is increasing.
As more and more businesses move online, fraudsters find there are an array of surprisingly easy targets.
There’s a good reason for this, many new online businesses are either not fully aware of the risks or don’t have the budget to protect themselves against scams.
This is one of the reasons why 59% of eCommerce businesses have seen an increase in online payment fraud.
The Ravelin study shows that 53% of retailers have seen an increase in refund abuse, an almost equal 52% say promotion abuse is increasing.
Both of these can be types of friendly fraud which is why they can be hard to track and stop.
Online retailers can have a reputation destroyed in seconds with a bad review.
That’s why they generally look after the customer, and why it’s so easy to abuse the refund and promotion policies.
10. On Average, An Online Business Will Use Five Fraud Detection Tools
Every online business needs to dedicate part of its revenue to fighting eCommerce fraud.
The good news is there are plenty of options.
Most online businesses will subscribe to security services in order to get the best possible protection.
These generally require a monthly fee and handle everything for them.
In general, online businesses sign up for credit card verification services, identity verification, two-factor phone authentication, 3-D secure authentication, and they will also use their internal records of customer history.
All these tools together can help to mitigate the risk of eCommerce fraud.
However, no system is perfect and cybercriminals react and evolve new ways to access the funds they seek.
11. 92% Of Ecommerce Frauds Involve Credit Cards
Statistics show that the amount lost to fraud is rising year-on-year.
However, what may surprise you is that, reports from 2017 show 92% of fraudulent online transactions still involve a credit card!
In 2018, fraudulent credit card transactions resulted in over $24 billion lost across the globe. 38.6% of reported cases happened in the US.
The number of cases of credit card fraud increased by 18.4% in 2018 and has increased every year since.
The majority of credit card frauds are related to card-not-present transactions. Just 19% involve cards being present.
More recent statistics, from 2021 show that approximately 50% of credit card fraud cases are connected to chargebacks.
Not all of these are performed by scammers as there are many cases of friendly fraud.
An estimated 20% of cases of credit card fraud involve identity theft and a further 20% are connected to imposter scams.
12. People Aged Between 25-34 Are The Most Common Ecommerce Victims
According to the latest figures people aged between 25-34 are the most likely to be eCommerce victims.
It’s estimated that, in 2017, people in this age bracket lost over $1 million to fraud.
While it’s safe to assume more people in this age range are online than older generations, the statistics also show that 43% of fraud incidents happen to those between 20-29 years old.
Only 13% are attributed to those over 70.
This suggests people between 20-29 are more easily tricked by scams.
However, the older generation generally loses significantly more funds. They generally have more to lose.
It’s worth noting that 54.4% of online frauds are reported by women. While it may be easier to scam a woman, men lose more.
The statistics show 55.6% of the amount lost to fraud is thanks to male victims.
13. 47% Of Online Businesses Have Suffered From Fraud Within The Last Two Months
A 2020 review by Merchant Savvy found that 47% of companies had suffered fraud within the last two months.
The report didn’t categorize the types of fraud, meaning it’s impossible to know how many of the cases were friendly fraud.
However, a separate report showed that 29.8% of attacks are account takeovers, 24.1% are both imposters, 8.2% are SQL injection and 8.7% are via a backdoor file.
Unsurprisingly, the US has more cases of fraud per capita than any other country.
This is likely due to the high number of US citizens online and the fact hackers seem to prefer targeting the US.
According to a similar study by Lexisnexis US retailers are seeing a yearly increase in fraud attacks of approximately 9%.
14. 21% Of Consumers Worry About Credit Card Data Being Stolen
According to research conducted by Chuprina in 2021, 21% of respondents were scared that their credit card data would be stolen.
Naturally, this would cause stress and potentially financial hardship.
Interestingly, almost as many people, 19%, were concerned about their personal data.
Specifically, they were worried that it would be misused or not kept secure by businesses.
These concerns don’t generally prevent consumers from partaking in eCommerce.
In the US, a staggering 72% of people are concerned that hackers will steal their personal information and use it fraudulently.
67% of US citizens worry about being a victim of identity theft.
That’s significantly more than the 43% of people worried about home burglary and the 29% concerned about terrorism.
At 21%, more people are concerned with their credit card details being stolen than the 20% worried about being murdered.
15. 54% Of All Frauds Now Happen Online
Fraud is not a new thing, for as long as there have been financial transactions there have been attempts to use other people’s funds and effectively get something for nothing.
However, with the internet growing immensely in popularity, it’s not surprising that an increasing number of frauds are being committed online.
With billions of people online it’s easier to find a mark and it is much more difficult to trace the source of the fraud.
In short, it’s easier for the criminal to get away with it.
However, the popularity of online fraud doesn’t mean that other types of fraud have disappeared.
54% of all frauds happen online, 18% still rely on door-to-door sales, 13% are completed via the mail, and just 5% of frauds are now committed in-store.
Protecting Your Online Business From Fraud
Once you realize how many eCommerce businesses are dealing with fraud you can be certain that it’s just a matter of time before your business faces the same issues.
The good news is there are things you can do to minimize your risk.
There are various software options which will verify the identity of a customer and their address.
These can be installed and automated, allowing the system to do all the work for you.
It won’t help if a credit card has been stolen and the details are genuine.
But, it will help with ensuring customers are genuine and less likely to undertake friendly fraud.
Friendly fraud relies on chargebacks stating the product was damaged or didn’t arrive.
Using a tracking service is more expensive than a standard service.
However, it does ensure products arrive on time and are signed for.
This means the customer has accepted it is not damaged and has definitely received the goods. It makes a chargeback harder.
Company policies should indicate what happens when there is an issue with an order.
By creating a specified process, consumers will need to follow it.
This gives you the opportunity to verify the issue and handle it appropriately, reducing the risk of a chargeback or similar fraud.
The right policies and delivery evidence mean that you can successfully refute chargebacks.
Allow Customer Feedback
Customers are often the best source of information. They are likely to hear and see things that the company doesn’t.
Provide all customers with access to a free and anonymous feedback area.
This will allow them to safely alert you to potential frauds. You can then take the necessary action to prevent the fraud from happening.
Don’t forget, fraudsters are often clever individuals and they will evolve their techniques.
You need to keep abreast of the latest developments and stay alert to avoid becoming a victim of eCommerce fraud.
The above eCommerce fraud statistics illustrate how much money and time is almost by businesses every year to fraud.
While there are some indications that the number and value of fraud cases are dropping, it’s still a significant amount.
One serious case of fraud can cripple a small business.
It’s essential you are aware of eCommerce fraud, take preventative steps, and stay vigilant.
That’s the most effective way to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.
It’s unlikely fraud will ever be completely eliminated.
However, taking all the necessary precautions will make it harder and, therefore, less attractive to cybercriminals.