Airline tickets the most popular purchase for credit-card scammers: RSA

Airlines accounted for 39 per cent of e-commerce transactions secured by security firm RSA last year but suffered 46 per cent of known purchasing fraud, analysis of data from the company's risk-based authentication system has revealed.

The average purchase price for legitimate airline ticket transactions was $US659 but fraudulent purchases from airlines averaged US$1480 per incident, according to RSA's July e-Commerce Fraud Trends 2014 report.

The frequency of such purchases made airline fraud stand head and shoulders over the next most-common categories of fraud, which included money transfers (16 per cent of fraudulent transactions) and computers/electronics purchases (13 per cent).

Credit card thieves seemed particularly keen on purchasing pharmaceuticals, with pharmacy purchases averaging US$264 per transaction but exploding to US$1830 when fraudsters took someone else's credit card shopping with them.

Jewellery purchases, which accounted for just 1 percent of fraudulent transactions, averaged US$307 legitimately but jumped to US$1300 for illegitimate transactions. Incredibly, an equal percentage of fraud related to fraudsters who were using stolen credit cards to pay their own bills.

Citing figures that suggested that 1 in 7 US payment cards was exposed in a data breach during 2013, RSA said the analysis showed that retailers “must be prepared to make the investments in technology to manage fraud risk in e-commerce”.

The analysis also provided an overview of phishing attacks, with the 55,813 such attacks identified in June representing a 43 per cent increase from May. RSA used this figure to estimate that phishing cost global organisations US$476 million in losses during June alone.

While US and UK brands were targeted by 40 per cent of phishing attacks, brands in India, the Netherlands and Canada were the next most-popular, cumulatively accounting for 16 per cent of all phishing attacks.

Some 43 per cent of phishing attacks were hosted in the US, with Germany coming second (7 per cent), the Netherlands (5 per cent) third, and China (4 per cent) fourth.

Read more: Cyber crime in financial institutions

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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