Europe Leads In The Most CNP Fraud Attacks in 2020

Apr 12, 2021

To say that the year 2020 was full of turmoil, both at a health and economic level is putting it mildly. With a surge of the world’s population confined to their homes for weeks and months on end, it is no wonder that digital traffic exploded at an unparalleled level. 

Around the world, people were suddenly dependent on the internet for all of their shopping, entertainment, work, and socializing needs. For many, it was their first venture into cyber shopping. This new segment of the population has been dubbed, “digital debutants”. 

Along with these newbies and just the sheer economic destruction from government-issued lockdowns, many people became unemployed and were driven to engaging in fraudulent activity, due to financial desperation.

The disruption of economies worldwide saw an unprecedented spike in fraudulent activity. Once stemming from developing countries, the shift saw more developed regions in Europe coming right on top in fraudulent attacks. 

Europe Leads In Fraudulent Attacks

Regions in Europe were battered the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fourth quarter also had many European countries constrained by “second-wave lockdowns”. By the end of 2020, brick-and-mortar stores experienced a “record-low” in sales. This is what drove these stores to move their operations entirely online. 

According to “Arkose Labs’ Q1 2021 Fraud Report”, The highest attacks occurred during Black Friday, especially on payments. Pushed by “bot volume”, the attack rate in the fourth quarter of 2020 experienced an attack rate of 39%. 

Another onslaught of attacks targeted a mostly homebound population by way of online dating and gaming sites. “Human-driven fraud” was at its highest rate when it came to fake account registrations, coming in at 22.5%. 

It was found that Russia was the “top attacking country”, however, it was followed by atypical countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and Turkey.

Although attacks were at an elevated level in Western Europe, a staggering 52% of EU-based attacks emerged from Russia in the fourth quarter of 2020. Russia also led the way in human-driven attacks. 

The United Kingdom came at a close second. Not typically known as an epicenter of human fraud, the U.K. has succumbed to economic upheaval due to the pandemic and its subsequent and repeated lockdowns. 

The Most Attacked Industry

Throughout 2020, online gaming was the most attacked industry. Bot attacks bombarded gaming platforms with an attack rate of 32.7%. Using “high-volume campaigns”, fraudsters focused their attacks on numerous consumer touchpoints. The massive inpouring of new customers during the pandemic translated into a much higher motivation to attack. 

Online gaming platforms tend to feature complex digital worlds and virtual economies. This provides many different paths towards monetization. This can include farming and being able to resell “in-game gold” and real money trading. 

A popular game franchise was targeted, with fraudsters trying to take advantage of its popularity by going after other players, using scams and phishing in order to obtain personal data. There was also “bot-driven abuse” to stockpile assets inside the game economy, where they can be sold in exchange for real money. 

Fraud Attacks Are Becoming More Common And More Intense

The pandemic brought more fraud attacks never before seen and is not expected to taper down anytime soon. In fact, as more consumers are forced to make most of their purchases online, more fraudsters will be ready to launch an all-out assault on unsuspecting customers. 

Companies must arm themselves with robust tools in order to stop them.

Let us help you get a high risk merchant account today!

Get Started

Award winning.

  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016

Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

Live Chat