CRIF AG, in collaboration with the VSV Verband des Schweizerischen Versandhandels, has carried out a survey of Swiss online and mail-order companies on the subject of fraud. 97% of all the traders questioned declared that they had been affected by fraud on at least one occasion in the past. This represents an increase of 4.6% compared with the previous year.
49.3% of those taking part in the survey either said that the level of fraud had increased, or that it had increased sharply in comparison with 2018. This is over 3% more than was reported in last year’s survey. 38.8% of those questioned reported very little change compared with the previous year.

Increase in amounts lost
Most of those questioned estimated that their maximum losses would have been under CHF 5,000. Nevertheless, the volume of losses between CHF 5,000 and CHF 25,000 had risen in comparison with 2018. In the case of losses between CHF 5,000 and CHF 10,000 this rise amounted to +7.7%, while there was also an increase of +2.8% in losses between 10,000 and 25,000. More than 6% of the online traders stated that the losses represented over 2% of their turnover.

Forms of fraud remain unchanged
As in the 2018 survey, we again found that the most frequent form of fraud involves people who order goods, even though they know in advance that they cannot pay for them. The second most frequently quoted pattern of fraud involves people who provide fake details when they order, followed by people who use another person’s identity to place an order.

Fraud detection methods pay their way
Over 92% of the traders questioned stated that they undertake fraud detection procedures. The majority (77.5%) check any suspicious orders manually. The use of a variety of blacklists and fraud filters is also popular in the battle against fraud. This year, 9.2% of the traders have completely outsourced their fraud prevention efforts to an external service provider. In last year’s survey, the equivalent figure was just 3.2%. Once measures had been introduced to combat attempts at fraud, the number of such attempts fell in half of those questioned. One third of respondents reported that the number of fraud attempts fell by at least 60%, thanks to the use of fraud detection methods.
This result was also confirmed by Daniel Gamma, Director of E-Commerce at CRIF: “It’s certainly worthwhile for online traders to adopt fraud prevention measures, and constantly expand them. As a result of the growth in the number of transactions, an ever-increasing number of traders rely on a combination of humans and machines in their fight against fraud, as the huge number of order enquiries can no longer be dealt with by manual examination alone. This is highlighted by the high number of enquiries from traders for advice in the area of fraud prevention together with enquiries about technical tools, such as device fingerprint technology”.

The full study can be requested from