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Online Fraud Changed Significantly in 2021— Watch Out for These 4 Trends

Friday, March 25th, 2022

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but not when it comes to online fraud.

The modern fraudster isn’t interested in replicating a company’s brand or identities, such as its name or logo. Instead, they’re looking to replicate the user experience your customers have come to expect and trust.

This means the fraudster aims to mimic consumers’ behavior by copying their IP addresses, device ID, location, and even the browser they use. This kind of deep-fake consumer behavior is what makes today’s fraudsters so dangerous.

Here are four ways that online fraud has changed over the last year:

1.  Expensive- businesses can no longer afford to ignore it

Online fraud isn’t just an expensive problem anymore; it’s a potentially existential problem. A single attack can wipe out years of profits — if its target survives at all — and the sheer volume means companies must devote more resources to security than ever before. It’s getting worse too, with each new development making it easier for cybercriminals to make money and harder for companies to stop them.

2.  Security firms began collaborating to fight fraud

The security industry formed a weapon in 2020 that has been used for years by cybercriminals – collaboration (and this became bigger in 2021).

Firms began sharing threat intelligence and data about fraudsters to identify them more quickly and close down fraudulent websites faster than ever before.

3.  The rollout of the MetaVerse

In 2021, we saw the rollout of the Metaverse – a virtual reality world with avatars that have their own identity, abilities, and skills. It allows users from around the world to interact together in a way that was previously impossible, opening up new ways for people to connect but also for cybercriminals to commit new types of fraud.

4.  The Explosion of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)

Last year saw the emergence of ransomware in which the hacker has no connection to the victim organization. “This is the most dangerous form of ransomware because the hackers have no vested interest in the organization, and you have no way of contacting them. 

Ransomware as a service (RaaS) is an additional version of this model, whereby hackers recruit independent affiliates to spread ransomware. These affiliates receive payment from the hacker every time they successfully infect new victims,” explains Revault co-founder and CEO Matt Dreyer in a company blog post.

Final Words

Looking at the trends in a vacuum can be interesting, but when you put them together, an interesting fact surfaces; online fraud should be a priority for all businesses.