Study on fraud in Swiss online trading

Growing revenue figures – Increasing attempts at fraud
The Swiss online trade is continuing to experience strong growth. According to the VSV Verband des Schweizerischen Versandhandels, mail-order and online trade in Switzerland increased by 7.5% in 2015 alone, to 7.2 billion CHF. Today, 7.5% of the entire volume of retail trade in Switzerland is generated via the internet.
However, this growing volume of revenue is also associated with an increase in the number of attempts at fraud in online trade. This finding was confirmed by the survey of Swiss online and mail-order traders carried out in September 2016 by CRIF AG in collaboration with the VSV Verband des Schweizerischen Versandhandels. 95% of all the traders surveyed indicated that they had already been affected by fraud on at least one occasion. Almost two thirds of those taking part in the survey were of the opinion that fraud in the online trade had increased over the past few years. Almost a quarter said that it had increased enormously.

Types of fraud
The most frequent form of fraud involved customers who order goods while knowing in advance that they cannot pay for them. The second most frequent pattern of fraud involves people placing orders and purchasing goods with falsified details. A growing number of fraud cases is also to be found in the area of identity theft and stolen payment details (credit cards).

Losses suffered
In the survey, 7.3% of the participants indicated that they had suffered a total loss of CHF 50,000 or more over the past 12 months. A total loss of CHF 10,000 or more had been suffered in just under 30% of those questioned.
This trend of growing levels of loss is also confirmed by Daniel Gamma, Director of E-Commerce at CRIF: “In our 2012 survey, only 8.3% of the traders spoke about total losses of over CHF 25,000. In our day-to-day contacts with online traders, we are also finding that fraud (and thus fraud prevention) is of growing importance”.

Over 90% of the traders surveyed indicated that they take measures to detect fraud and over 47% are planning to extend these still further. From the point of view of the traders, the biggest challenges are concerned with providing customer-oriented and risk-oriented methods, finding the correct cost/benefit ratio and recognising the risks.

The full study can be requested via the Press Contact at In future, CRIF AG will undertake this study on an annual basis.