Attempts at fraud have increased

CRIF AG, working in association with the VSV (the trade association for the Swiss mail-order business), has undertaken an online survey of Swiss online and mail-order traders on the subject of fraud. In this survey, over 92% of all the traders surveyed stated that they had been affected by an instance of fraud. 46.2% of participants in the survey said that fraud had either increased or increased severely compared with 2017. This figure is just about 10% higher than in last year’s survey. For 43.1% of those questioned, hardly anything had changed in comparison with the previous year.


Losses incurred

In this survey, 87.1% of participants reported that the loss they incurred was under 1% of turnover; for 11.5% of those questioned, however, the figure was 1-2% of revenue, for 8.2% the loss lay between 2 and 3%, while 3.3% reported a loss of over 3% in relation to their sales. The majority of those surveyed spoke of losses amounting to less than CHF 5000 over the past 12 months. Nevertheless, losses of between CHF 10,000 and CHF 100,000 have increased compared with 2017 – in the case of losses between CHF 5,000 and CHF 10,000, the difference was +2.1%; for losses between CHF 10,000 and CHF 50,000 this figure was +1.8%, while the increase for losses between CHF 50,000 and CHF 100,000 was +1.7%.


Forms of fraud

As was found in the 2017 survey, the most frequent form of fraud involves people who order goods and know in advance that they cannot pay for them. The second most commonly reported fraud pattern involves people who place an order and buy goods on the basis of falsified information, followed by people who use somebody else’s identity to place an order. Fraud attempts using falsified details or falsified identities in general have increased substantially in comparison with 2017.


Measures undertaken

Over 95% of the traders in the survey reported that they carry out some fraud detection measures. Over 86% of traders investigate suspicious orders manually, which represents an increase of 7% compared with the previous year. 62% operate their own blacklists and 24.2% use fraud filters in their battle against fraud. The observation that traders are increasingly using additional measures, such as device fingerprint technology to combat fraud, as well as manual examination, should be regarded as positive. Nevertheless, the manual effort could be optimised and automated by using external solutions, as confirmed by Daniel Gamma, Director of E-Commerce at CRIF: “A good combination of man and machine has proved its worth in the area of fraud prevention. Major online traders retain their own Fraud Prevention Teams and invest in the digital uncovering of fraud. On the other hand, small and medium-sized enterprises often lack the resources to undertake all the checks for themselves. This is where outsourcing can offer a useful contribution in combating fraudsters even more efficiently”.

The full study can be requested from