Windhoek, Namibia,

Phishing, Smishing and Vishing Are Among the Top Types of Fraud in Namibia, According to TransUnion

New data published by global information and insights provider, TransUnion (NYSE: TRU), in its 2023 State of Omnichannel Fraud Report shows that 34% of Namibian consumers said they had been targeted by fraud from September to December 2022. Namibian consumers were primarily targeted by ‘phishing’ attempts. Phishing is where scammers try to get consumers to reveal personal information via fraudulent emails, websites or social posts.

‘Smishing’ – where fraudulent text messages attempt to trick people into revealing data – was experienced by 28% of Namibians who were targeted, while 24% were targeted by ‘vishing’, where fraudulent callers tried to get them to reveal personal information.

At the same time, the top types of digital fraud which Namibian consumers were most worried about differed from the attempts reported, as the biggest Namibian consumer concerns were account takeovers (69%), identity theft (65%) and stolen credit cards or fraudulent card transactions (64%).

Data in the 2023 State of Omnichannel Fraud Report blends proprietary insights from TransUnion’s global intelligence network and a specially commissioned TransUnion consumer survey in 18 countries and regions globally.

The study showed that globally, 4.6% of all digital transactions were suspected to be fraudulent. This percentage is in line with the rates found in 2019. However, despite the similarities to the percentage prior to the pandemic, due to the marked rise in number of digital transactions in the last few years, the total volume of all suspected digital fraud attempts has increased dramatically. Globally, such attempts have increased by 80% from 2019 to 2022.

Lara Burger, country manager of TransUnion Namibia, said: “We’re seeing a persistently high number of digital fraud attempts, with the total volume of suspected digital fraud attempts originating from Namibia increasing most notably in the gaming sector, where the rate of attempts has increased by 179% since 2019. This reflects the overall accelerated adoption of digital technologies and rising online transactions as a result.

“Namibian businesses need to take proactive steps to protect themselves and their customers. This means ensuring that identity proofing and authentication is up-to-date and as robust as possible,” she said. 

Of Namibian consumers surveyed, 66% said they had been targeted by an email, online, phone call or text message fraud scheme and 13% of those fell victim. Nearly half (47%) said that they had placed a freeze on their credit when they realised that they were a victim of fraud, while 30% contacted the affected company, whether it was a bank or retailer.

Burger continued: “Rates of digital fraud attempts by sector tend to change rapidly, as fraudsters innovatively shift focus to where there are new opportunities to make financial gain. They will be agile in targeting consumers and organisations as Namibia navigates the current period of global economic uncertainty.

“At TransUnion, we help businesses across a wide range of industries prevent fraud by using intelligent predictive solutions to deliver better experiences – helping to outflank those who would take advantage otherwise and reassure customers that their personal data will not be compromised.”

TransUnion monitors digital fraud attempts reported by businesses in varied industries such as gambling, gaming, financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail, and travel and leisure, among others. The conclusions are based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in TransUnion’s flagship identity proofing, risk-based authentication and fraud analytics solution suite –TruValidate.

For more information and insights about our global fraud trends, please download the report here.