Rate of Suspected Digital Fraud Attempts Coming from Kenya Decreases 61% Despite Scams Increasing Against Gambling, and Travel and Leisure Companies
TransUnion releases quarterly fraud analysis for billions of transactions assessed in Q1 2022 and 2021
The rate of digital fraud originating from Kenya decreased in Q1 2022, with the percentage of suspected online fraud attempts declining -60.9% from the same quarter last year, in line with the global decrease of -22.6% during that same time period. TransUnion’s (NYSE:TRU) quarterly digital fraud analysis observed that while the overall rate of suspected digital fraud declined in Kenya, there were significant shifts year-over-year (YoY) within certain industries.
Sectors such as financial services, telecommunications and communities (i.e. online dating) all saw YoY decreases in the attempted digital fraud rate from Kenya. Conversely, fraudsters in Kenya increased their suspected scams in sectors such as gambling, and travel and leisure.
“What we observed in Kenya and globally is that sophisticated fraudsters are shifting their focus to target new industries as sectors previously targeted have ramped up fraud prevention measures. In other words, fraudsters are constantly seeking out new opportunities based on vulnerabilities,” said Amritha Reddy, Head of Fraud at TransUnion South Africa.
“What’s critical is that companies don’t become complacent with fraud prevention measures as fraudsters become ever more sophisticated. At the same time, companies should leverage this temporary shift in fraudulent activity to focus on optimising customer experience without compromising security.”
Rate of Digital Fraud Attempts Decrease in Kenya, but Some Industries See Growth
The financial services industry saw the largest YoY decrease in the suspected fraud attempt rate for digital transactions coming from Kenya, at -71.5%. When digital fraud in financial services did occur, TransUnion found the most dominant type in that industry globally was first party application fraud. That’s when an individual completes fraudulent applications that contain intentionally inaccurate or manipulated information with the intention of receiving a lower rate or better terms for a policy or contract.
Fraudsters have cycled through certain industries during the pandemic and are now rotating to other vulnerable sectors. This makes these vulnerable sectors more prone to digital fraud attempts. The gambling industry exhibited the greatest YoY growth in the rate of suspected digital fraud coming in Kenya in Q1 2022, at 48.7%, with the most prevalent type of fraud in that sector globally being promotion abuse – where a user abuses site promotions such as refer-a-friend, reload deposit bonuses and free giveaways.
The travel and leisure industry experienced the second highest YoY increase from Kenya, at 25.1%, where fraudsters look to take advantage as the sector opens up and Kenyans start travelling again.
Year-over-year Growth Rates of Suspected Digital Fraud Attempts (Q1 2021 to Q1 2022)
Industries Affected by Fraud
Travel and Leisure
Communities (online dating, forums, etc.)
“As digital fraud rates stabilise in Kenya during a period when fraudsters are searching for new vulnerabilities, it’s important that organizations shift their focus to identifying more of the ‘good’ customers and transactions to drive revenue and customer lifetime value. By reducing false positives, false declines and manual review rates, organizations can improve their customer experience through trusted connections while still keeping the fraudsters at bay,” said Reddy.
TransUnion derived to its conclusions on fraud against businesses on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in its flagship identity proofing, risk-based authentication and fraud analytics solution suite – TransUnion TruValidate™. The percent or rate of suspected digital fraud attempts are those that TruValidate customers either denied or reviewed due to fraudulent indicators compared to all transactions that were assessed for fraud.
For worldwide and regional breakdowns around how much the suspected digital fraud attempt rate recently changed, what types of fraud are most prevalent in certain industries and more, download this infographic.