Thieves Are Using the Back-to-school Run Up to Labor Day to Enable Credit Card Fraud, Warns NuData Security

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The supply of stolen credit card details is at an all time high. Each year the back-to-school season leading up to Labor Day sees a surge in traffic to e-commerce providers; thieves use this period to commit unnoticed fraud online.

The barriers to entry for using stolen credit cards have never been lower.

85% of US consumers plan to spend up to $1,000 this back-to-school season, according to a survey conducted by PriceGrabber.com - and 54% of that will be online.

Each year the back-to-school season leading up to Labor Day sees a surge in traffic to e-commerce providers. New users flock to sign up and scoop the lowest prices on laptops, cameras and mobiles phones – essential tools for academic success.

In July 2013, five hackers were indicted for infiltrating US e-commerce providers and stealing the payment credentials related to 160 million consumer credit cards. The supply of stolen credit card details is at an all time high.

“Fraudsters have recognised this,” warns Christopher Bailey, CTO of NuData Security. “There is a current trend of thieves setting up multiple – we are talking hundreds or thousands – of user accounts for online retailers.”

Fraud is an increasingly accessible industry of middlemen and agents. According to Bailey, “anyone can anonymously purchase 1,000 stolen credit cards and 1,000 clean, e-commerce accounts on the black market with absolutely no technical know-how. The barriers to entry for using stolen credit have never been lower.”

Allowing accounts to mature for weeks or even months at a time reduces the chances of detection, meaning that these accounts accrue substantial value on the black market. By blending in with high traffic seasons, automated account creation often goes undetected.

Traditional credit card and e-commerce fraud detection typically focuses on the value of items being purchased, watching for large orders of high value, easily fenced items, such as cameras or laptops, as opposed to leveraging behaviour recognition.

“E-commerce companies should bolster their fraud detection by using behaviour analytics to uncover New Account Fraud,” Bailey suggests. “Fraudsters are more willing than ever to bide their time, committing multiple acts of low-value fraud, hiding in high-traffic holidays.”

Christopher Bailey is CTO and co-founder of NuData Security, responsible for the strategic vision and direction of technology solutions. He was a founder of Secure Networks, a web security company acquired by Network Associates and an investor and early participant in Security Focus, which was acquired by Symantec Corp in 2002.

NuData Security is a leader is web fraud detection, behaviour analytics and risk-based authentication – protecting leading Fortune 50 e-commerce companies from excessive chargebacks and fraud. NuData Security is recognized in the 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Fraud Detection.

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Matthew Reeves
NuData Security
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