ThreatMetrix Helped Stop More Than 11.4 Million Attempted Fraudulent Transactions During the Holiday Shopping Season

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ThreatMetrix Finds Logins to Existing Accounts Grew to 80 Percent During Christmas Week, Customers Returning to Sites They Trust

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ThreatMetrix®, the fastest-growing provider of context-based security and advanced fraud prevention solutions, today announced the ThreatMetrix® Global Trust Intelligence Network (The Network) prevented more than 11.4 million attempted fraudulent transactions during the 2014 holiday shopping season. Additionally, data analyzed from The Network over Christmas Week, Dec. 20 through 28, identified several trends in online spending, including a continued shift toward mobile shopping, specifically on iPhones, and an increase in logins to existing retailers.

According to ComScore, the final week leading up to Christmas this year saw an 18 percent surge in spending compared to 2013. This increase in last-minute shopping leading up to the holidays was quickly followed by some continued shopping directly after – consumers using gift cards, making additional purchases following returns and more. Cybercriminals were also exceptionally busy during the Christmas week trying to cash in on the increased spending.

“The week before Christmas was full of last-minute shoppers who were too busy to finish all their shopping until the holiday week, and many of those shoppers turned to online channels up until the last minute,” said Ken Jochims, director of product marketing at ThreatMetrix. “Cybercriminals follow the money – especially around the holidays. Fortunately, The Network prevented millions of fraudulent transactions this holiday season, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in fraud losses for our customers.”

Leveraging data from The Network, ThreatMetrix identified several key trends in online spending over the week of Christmas Week, Dec. 20 through 28. These include:

  • Consumers return to familiar retailer sites – Over the week of Thanksgiving, data from The Network showed logins to existing retail accounts accounted for 61 percent of all analyzed transactions. Logins to existing retail accounts during the Christmas shopping week grew dramatically to more than 73 percent. Customer behavior is clear, they return more frequently to sites they know and trust with their stored credit card information.

“Customers returned to trusted sites to make purchases throughout the holidays,” said Jochims. “But maintaining trust requires a high level of security that needs to be transparently applied without disrupting the shopping experience. Dialing up security while decreasing friction is a challenging requirement that can only be accomplished by implementing a security solution that can deliver real-time fraud prevention based on contextual intelligence. Retailers need to ensure that only trusted customers create and access accounts so they can easily make repeat purchases throughout the year – while keeping the bad guys out. ThreatMetrix delivers this protection year round protecting major retailers from all types of fraudulent activity, accelerating commerce and creating trust.”

  • Mobile transactions continued to grow, dominated by iOS – During Cyber Week 2014, ThreatMetrix found that 39 percent of transactions originated from mobile devices, with 80 percent of those transactions originating from iOS devices. Over the week of Christmas, that shift toward mobile continued, with a peak in mobile transactions taking place on Christmas Day, at about 35 percent. Additionally, iPhones alone drove almost three-quarters of all mobile e-commerce transactions during Christmas Week, up from 65 percent on Cyber Monday. Approximately 63.9 million iPhone 6 devices have been sold since its release in September, which likely correlates with iPhones dominating mobile purchasing.

The Network also detected a general pattern in mobile usage, hitting a low on Mondays and gradually climbing throughout the week jumping on Saturdays peaking on Sundays, tapering off again on Monday.

  • Transaction volumes were significantly higher during Cyber Week – During this year’s Cyber Week (the five day period beginning on Nov. 27 and ending on Dec. 1) online spending grew to about $6.46 billion, while the week of Christmas only saw about $5.8 billion in sales. Through data from The Network, ThreatMetrix saw a surge in shopping through Monday, Dec. 22, but it dropped off following that. This was expected, as in the days directly leading up to Dec. 25, as online merchants scrambled to accommodate delivery by Christmas. Following Christmas Eve, dollar transactions continued to drop off as people were mostly done with their holiday shopping, and instead started redeeming gift cards. In the four weeks between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, The Network found that Mondays generally had the highest number of transactions as well as the highest dollar value per transaction analyzed.

“It appears consumers are comfortable getting back to work and shopping online on Mondays,” said Jochims. “Consumers making online purchases on the weekends are often doing so from mobile devices or tablets in front of the TV or on-the-go, but on Monday they shop from desktop computers, where the data also shows consumers typically make larger purchases.”

  • Device spoofing was the most common type of cyber attack – Over Christmas Week, The Network saw device spoofing accounting for the largest number of cyber attacks, hovering around 6 percent. Those attacks were followed by identity spoofing at about 4 to 5 percent, and geo-location spoofing, which grew to almost 4 percent on Christmas Day.

Account creation fraud also grew 30 percent during Christmas Week compared to the ThreatMetrix Cybercrime Report: Q4 2014, with 6.7 percent of transactions vs. 5.2 percent. Account login and payment fraud were both down slightly over the holiday.

This holiday season, ThreatMetrix was able to help stop more than 11 million attempted fraudulent transactions – equating to hundreds of millions of dollars – through the collective intelligence of its global data repository, The Network, which analyzes more than 850 million monthly transactions, and protects more than 210 million active user accounts across 3,000 customers and 15,000 websites. The Network is the most comprehensive data repository of its kind, using its real-time analytics to evaluate logins, payments, new account registrations, remote access attempts and other transactions for validity.

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About ThreatMetrix
ThreatMetrix builds trust on the Internet by offering market-leading advanced fraud prevention and frictionless context-based security solutions. These solutions authenticate consumer and workforce access to mission critical applications using real-time identity and access analytics that leverage the world’s largest trusted identity network.

ThreatMetrix secures enterprise applications against account takeover, payment fraud, fraudulent account registrations resulting from malware, and data breaches. Underpinning the solution is the ThreatMetrix® Global Trust Intelligence Network, which analyzes over 850 million monthly transactions and protects more than 210 million active user accounts across 3,000 customers and 15,000 websites.

The ThreatMetrix solution is deployed across a variety of industries, including financial services, enterprise, e-commerce, payments, social networks, government and insurance.

For more information, visit or call 1-408-200-5755.
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© 2014 ThreatMetrix. All rights reserved. ThreatMetrix, TrustDefender ID, TrustDefender Cloud, TrustDefender Mobile, TrustDefender Client, the TrustDefender Cybercrime Protection Platform, ThreatMetrix Labs, and the ThreatMetrix logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of ThreatMetrix in the United States and other countries. All other brand, service or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or owners.

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Beth Kempton
Walker Sands Communications
+1 (312) 241-1178
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Dan Rampe
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