Ecommerce Growth Brought in by COVID-19 Brought Added Pressures to Merchant Fraud Strategies

False positives were already a pain point for merchants but exacerbated by the pandemic. It is estimated that $146 billion worth of CNP purchase attempts are declined each year and more than half are falsely declined.

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Fraud This Holiday Season Could be Even More Difficult to Detect as Fraud Rings Expand Mule Networks

Fraudsters use money mules for laundering as well as to receive and reship goods purchased with stolen identities. A large mule network provides more low risk shipping addresses for fraudsters to utilize as well as more options for strategically chosen shipping locations less likely to trigger fraud detection systems. A down economy and millions of people out of work makes it easier for fraudsters to recruit money mules with work-from-home schemes.

Money mules range from knowingly complicit to those duped by fraudsters. Whether they believe they are a holiday gift wrapper or know they are aiding and abetting fraud, these mules become more willing to participate in activity they know, or even think might be, illicit when out of work or when times are tough.

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Largest Credit Card Fraud Scheme Uncovered by U.S. Justice Department Highlights Importance of Authentication in Preventing Identity Fraud

A fourth defendant plead guilty in early August to his participation in an identity fraud scam where over 7,000 false identities were created being used to obtain credit cards and lines of credit and ultimately causing $200 million dollars in fraud losses. Lack of proper identity authentication checks allowed the fraudsters to reuse addresses and other information in creating fake profiles and false identity information to obtain credit cards and perpetrate their elaborate, large-scale scam.

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Eleven Florida Identity Tax Return Fraud Ring Members Arrested

Tax refund fraud is a growing crime that costs the federal government billions each year. Eleven members of an identity fraud ring responsible for millions in fraudulent tax refunds were recently arrested in South Florida, an area where identity theft and tax refund fraud are significantly higher than the national average.

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Orchestrated Global Attacks Steal $11 Million with Prepaid Card ATM Withdrawals

In a highly organized and orchestrated attack, money mules across the world cashed out prepaid debit cards withdrawing millions of dollars from ATMs after sophisticated hackers first increased or removed daily withdrawal amount limits on these cards.

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Microsoft and Symantec Shutdown Massive Botnet

The Bamital botnet, assembled by an organized group of fraudsters to commit click fraud, infected hundreds of thousands of computers but has recently been shut down as authorities have seized servers and pulled others offline following a collaborative investigation by Microsoft and Symantec.

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Organized Fraud Ring Obtained Credit Cards, Increased Credit Limits with Fake Identities Stealing $200 Million

Eighteen members of a sophisticated fraud ring operating out of New Jersey were arrested in early February for their massive scam creating thousands of fake identities, obtaining credit and increasing credit limits for the fake identities, and then cashing in with a bust-out attack. The Department of Justice has documented $200 million in losses and continues to investigate.

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U.S. and Canadian Authorities Arrest Members of Identity Theft and Card Fraud Rings

Canada’s Regional Fraud Bureau along with Canadian police departments and the U.S. Secret Service carried out a raid on suspected identity fraud rings which resulted in five arrests, over 300 fraud-related charges as well as the confiscation of equipment used for making counterfeit cards and hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit U.S. currency.

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Organized Fraud Attack Compromised Merchant POS Systems with Malware

Two men from Romania were extradited to the United States last May after being accused of running a fraud operation that installed malware on point-of-sale computers attacking hundreds of merchants, although mainly Subway restaurants, from 2009 to 2011. In late September the two men plead guilty to multiple charges and will each face time behind bars.

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Japanese Fraud Ring Members Arrested for Malware Scam

Six members of a Japanese fraud ring were arrested by police after distributing malware that rendered a victim’s computer unusable until payment was received. This type of malware, similar to scareware, has been referred to as ransomware and one-clickware.

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