Suspected Digital Fraud Attempts from Rwanda the Highest in Financial Services and Retail
Findings based on proprietary insights from TransUnion’s global intelligence network
As consumers and businesses continue to use digital transactions as a way to engage in commerce, fraudsters are increasingly using them for their own benefit. A new TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) analysis finds that suspected global digital fraud1 is up in the first half (H1)2 of 2023, and while retail and video gaming* were among the most targeted industries worldwide during that timeframe, digital fraud affected all businesses.
Among all industries, the global suspected digital fraud rate stood at 5.3% in H1 2023, up from 4.5% one year ago. Of all digital transactions made by consumers in Rwanda, 3.9% were suspected to be fraudulent attempts in H1 2023.3
For transactions originating from Rwanda, financial services and retail had the highest suspected digital fraud attempt rate among industries analyzed in H1 2023 at 8.7% and 5.7% respectively.3
Digital transactions from Rwanda in financial services grew by 12.2% during the first half of 2023, and the suspected rate of suspected digital fraud attempts for transactions from Rwanda in financial services increased 252% year-over-year (YoY) – the largest increase among industries analyzed. Within telecommunications, the suspected digital fraud attempt rate increased by 251% YoY. Although the number of digital transactions in gaming (online sports, betting, poker, etc.) in Rwanda increased by 185% the rate of suspected digital fraud attempts in this sector declined by 65% YoY.3
These significant increases in the rates of suspected digital fraud attempts, along with the increased adoption of digital transactions, indicate that Rwandan businesses and consumers should seek meaningful solutions to prevent fraud. This is true even in sectors where attempted fraud rates declined, as threat actors adapt quickly to evolving environments to maximize the results of their attempts.
“It’s not enough to look at fraud rates alone when attempting to measure the impact of digital fraud on any one particular industry or another,” said Samuel Tayengwa, chief executive officer at TransUnion Rwanda. “There are other factors that need to be considered. These include the overall size of the industry in question, whether that industry is growing and if so, how quickly. Only then is it possible to develop a more comprehensive perspective on just how digital fraud is impacting these industries. In addition, this can help identify where fraudsters may be focusing their efforts in future.”
Gaming Saw the Greatest YoY Growth in Global Digital Transactions
while Financial Services had the Highest Suspected Digital Fraud Rate Coming From Rwanda
Suspected digital fraud attempt rate coming from Rwanda H1 2023
Change in number of digital transactions coming from Rwanda H1 2022 to H1 2023
Global suspected digital fraud attempt rate H1 2023
Change in number of global transactions H1 2022 to H1 2023
Communities (online dating, forums, etc.)
Gaming (online sports betting, poker, etc.)
Travel & leisure
Source: TransUnion TruValidateTM data
*Video gaming was not included in Rwanda’s reporting as volumes were statistically insignificant
“The volume of digital fraud from Rwanda has risen since the COVID-19 pandemic began, leading to larger losses and operational costs,” Tayengwa said. “However, there has been an increased awareness of the importance of ‘Know Your Customer’ requirement and the need to manage consumer information more comprehensively, ahead of the implementation of Rwanda’s Data Privacy Law in October 2023.”
TransUnion came to its digital fraud findings based on intelligence from its identity and fraud product suite, TransUnion TruValidate, which helps secure trust across channels and delivers efficient consumer experiences. The rate or percentage of suspected digital fraud attempts reflect interactions which TransUnion customers either denied in real time due to fraudulent indicators or determined to be fraudulent after a manual review process—compared to all transactions it assessed for fraud.
Download the Omnichannel Fraud in H1 2023 Infographic for more findings including the rate of suspected digital fraud from select countries and regions globally, and the growing problem of synthetic fraud. Specific country and regional data in the analysis include the United States, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom and Zambia.
Consumers who believe they may be a victim of fraud can find resources and information here.
1 Digital fraud involves the use of phishing emails, false websites, phony mobile apps, fake social media profiles, and other mechanisms to illegally obtain information and defraud consumers and businesses.
2 The first half of the year or H1 refers to January 1 to June 30
3 TransUnion TruValidate data