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E-sports, crypto and banking most vulnerable to fraud, deepfakes blossom

A new identity fraud report says that this criminal practice doubled in industries such as crypto and banking in 2022, while scammers have also begun targeting E-sports.

Sumsub, a global verification platform, said in the report that the fraud landscape has changed – the payment industry no longer leads the chart, and consulting has dropped in popularity.

In 2022, fraudsters have instead begun targeting E-sports, a form of virtual multiplayer competition using video games. It’s only natural as the industry has been experiencing explosive growth over the past two years.

The Sumsub report also highlights an approximately twofold increase in fraud targeting the crypto industry—from 0.7% of all fraud cases to 1.5%. Likewise, banking has seen nearly 100% growth in fraud cases, while e-commerce has seen a thirteen-fold increase in the proportion of fraud (from 0.1% of all cases in 2021 to 1.3% in 2022).

Stolen bank cards are used most often by fraudsters who are targeting financial services, e-commerce, and gambling industries. 3.6% of all e-commerce revenue in 2022 has been stolen by fraudsters.

Payment fraud grew 40% from 2021 to 2022, significantly increasing the share of this type of fraud worldwide. Unsurprisingly, 46% of payment merchants now prioritize the prevention of illegal chargebacks, Sumsub says.

“As transaction fraud increases and evolves rapidly, the need to safeguard your business is higher than before, and the easiest way to do this is by implementing an advanced transaction monitoring and risk-management solution that cross-checks user KYC data and transaction information to prevent fraud – just like Sumsub’s KYT solution does,” – Vyacheslav Zholudev, Sumsub’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, said.

The researchers also found that the main fraud vectors were account takeovers, when access was gained to another person’s account, and multi-accounting – registering more accounts than permitted.

There was additionally a lot of chargeback fraud, when fake disputes were raised with the bank, and biometric spoofing – using life-like masks, deepfakes, and other advanced methods.

This trend is especially worrying, according to Sumsub’s analytics, because innovative fraudsters have developed more advanced deepfake technology that is exceptionally difficult to distinguish from reality.

“Fraudsters no longer rely on blatant attacks like printed images, phone screens, etc. Now, just about every attempt at bypassing verification is made with the help of carefully crafted deepfakes and fabricated IDs that require robust anti-fraud technology to detect,” the report says.

Zholudev says deepfakes as a growing threat will continue in 2023, as image generation and AI technologies become more available. At the same time, though, businesses will have more tools at their disposal to prevent fraud.

Gender statistics on identity fraud suggest that male documents make up the majority of forgeries. This gap has widened even more in 2022, reaching 79% compared to 72% in 2021.

Interestingly, in 2022, over half of all fraud cases happened in five countries: Bangladesh (22%), Pakistan (15.2%), Vietnam (8.1%), Nigeria (5.4%) and the USA (5.1%).

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