Over 85% of all the traders questioned declared that they had already been affected by fraud on at least one occasion. The levels of the losses experienced within the past 12 months have risen in comparison with the previous year. Since the pandemic, online traders have achieved a higher revenue, but have become the victims of online fraud attempts more frequently. This finding was demonstrated by a study undertaken by the CRIF credit information agency, in conjunction with the trade association relevant to this area (HANDELSVERBAND.swiss)

CRIF AG carried out a survey of Swiss online and mail-order companies on the subject of fraud, in collaboration with the HANDELSVERBAND.swiss trade association. Over 85% of all the traders questioned declared that they had been affected by fraud on at least one occasion. 25.7% reported either an increase or even a sharp increase in attempts at fraud during 2020. For 68.6% of those questioned, nothing much had changed in this regard since the previous year.

Increase in the amounts lost
The majority of those questioned, in fact 56.3%, estimated that their maximum loss in the past 12 months would have come to under CHF 5,000. Nevertheless, individual losses of between CHF 10,000 and CHF 50,000 had risen by 16.2% in comparison with 2020.

The forms of fraud confronting online traders
The form of fraud most frequently encountered involves those people who order goods, even though they know in advance that they cannot pay for them, together with people who buy goods using forged details or an alternative identity. An increasing number of fraud attempts also involve customers who dispute that they have ordered goods at all.

More and more traders are collaborating with external service providers in the battle against fraudsters
Almost 83% of the traders we questioned stated that they implement fraud detection procedures. About half of them (over 54.3%) check any suspicious orders manually. A variety of blacklists and fraud filters are also popular in the battle against fraud. In 2020, 4.8% of the traders indicated that they used external service providers to carry out fraud prevention measures, but this proportion had risen to almost 23% by 2021.
Two thirds of respondents stated that the number of fraud attempts had fallen, thanks to the use of fraud detection methods.

Higher revenue thanks to the pandemic, but attempts at fraud have also increased
Over 88% of those questioned stated that online shops generated more revenue because of the pandemic. However, they also became prey to more attempts at fraud (17.1%).

Fraud can affect any trader
Patrick Kessler, President of Handelsverband.Swiss, confirmed that any online trader can be affected by fraud: “Any easy opportunity will tempt thieves – and any online trader who fails to implement fraud prevention methods will fall victim to fraud sooner or later. It’s therefore certainly important to carry out company-specific checks, but it’s also vital to implement fraud prevention methods using professional service providers who can quickly detect patterns of fraud that go beyond the trader’s own sector, and thus prevent any losses”.
Daniel Gamma, Head of E-Commerce at CRIF, adds that: “We’re getting far more enquiries about fraud prevention solutions. However, shop operators are often astonished at the wide variety of options on offer for protection against fraud. In particular, it’s still not well-enough appreciated that you can outsource the entire fraud prevention operation to an external service provider.

The full study can be requested from presse.ch@crif.com.