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As Businesses Reopen Physical Locations, New TransUnion Research Shows Digital Fraud Attempts in India Against Companies Decrease

Some Industries Did Still See an Increase, With Logistics and Financial Services Recording the Steepest Rise in Suspected Online Fraud

New research by information and insights provider TransUnion found a marked increase in suspected online fraud attempts in India, against businesses, after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on 11 March, 2020. Conversely, TransUnion recently observed a decrease in such attempts as companies reopened their physical locations. TransUnion came to its conclusions about fraud against businesses globally based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in its flagship fraud prevention solution, IDVision with iovation.

Specifically, TransUnion found that suspected online fraud from India against businesses increased 121% from right before the pandemic (1st Jan-10th March) to the beginning of the pandemic (“phase 1,” 11th March -18th May). However as businesses began reopening (“phase 2,” 19th May – 25th July), TransUnion’s findings revealed a 29% decrease in suspected digital fraud attempts from India against businesses when compared to phase 1 (11th March-18th May).

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Globally, TransUnion found the percent of suspected fraudulent digital transactions against businesses worldwide decreased 9% from the beginning of the pandemic (11th March – 18th May) to when businesses began reopening (19th May 19- 25th July).

“With the rush for businesses to go digital as many were forced to go completely online almost overnight, fraudsters tried to take advantage,” said Shaleen Srivastava, EVP and Head of Fraud, Solutions and Alternate Data at TransUnion in India. “They were most likely unsuccessful in their attempts and took their scams elsewhere as those businesses ramped up their digital fraud prevention solutions while providing a friction-right consumer experience. Conversely with consumers, fraudsters are increasingly using COVID-19 to prey on those persons who are facing mounting financial pressures.”

Recent Rise in Suspected Online Fraud Against Certain Industries

TransUnion also analyzed the change in the percent of suspected digital fraud from India against businesses across industries recently.

“Our analysis suggests that financial services and logistics companies have witnessed the highest percentage increase in suspected fraudulent digital transactions coming from India recently. Astute monitoring and vigilance is vital to contain and control losses due to fraudulent transactions,” asserts Shaleen.

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TransUnion analyzed the below industries for a change in the percent of suspected digital fraud against them, comparing the periods of 11th March —18th May  and 19th May —25th July.

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Suspected Fraud Change Originating from India and Their Impact Across Industries

Sector Suspected fraud change originating in India Suspected fraud change globally Top type of fraud globally
Logistics 81% 27% Shipping
Financial Services 72% -13% Identity theft
Travel & Leisure 23% 47% Credit card
Gaming 8% -3% Gold farming
Communities (online dating, forums, etc.) 1% -1% Profile misrepresentation
Insurance -5% 8% Ghost broking
Retail -56% -10% Promotion abuse
Telecommunications -66% -60% Credit card
Healthcare -78% -18% Identity theft


“Given the billions of people globally that have been forced to stay at home, industries have been disrupted in a way not seen on this massive of a scale for generations,” concludes Shaleen “Now that many transactions have shifted online, fraudsters have tried to take advantage and companies must adapt. Businesses that come out on top will be those leveraging fraud prevention tools that provide great detection rates and friction-right experiences for consumers.”

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This quarter TransUnion analyzed fraud trends against companies to reflect the reopening of in-person business locations during the COVID-19 pandemic. TransUnion used 11th March, 2020 – the date the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic – as a base date for its analysis. It used 18th May and 19th May as the mid-point dates during the pandemic in order to compare fraud trends during the first 68 days to the second 68 days of the pandemic. Suspected fraud are transactions that TransUnion’s customers either denied or reviewed due to fraudulent indicators.

For a hub of relevant educational resources aimed to help fight fraud during this time, go to the TransUnion Global Fraud Solutions COVID-19 resource center.

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