Recent research by Dallas-area security firm Trend Micro discovered that stolen credit-card information is falling out of the spotlight as the favorite target of hackers. This information is currently selling for only 22 cents per record. Account information, on the other hand, is becoming the new target. At the moment, account information from Uber is averaging $3.78 per account, Facebook information for $3.02 and Netflix information for 76 cents.
For e-commerce merchants, this information does not come as a surprise. It is simply a confirmation of what merchants, banks and other companies suspected and experienced over the past eighteen months. In fact, according to cardnotpresent.com, fraud departments have reported sharp increases in both account takeover and account creation fraud. Account takeover refers to the situation where a fraudster uses legitimate credentials of a customer to log on and make purchases. Account creation, on the other hand, occurs when a fraudster uses stolen personally identifiable information (PII) to create new accounts and commit fraud.
According to a CNBC report, while payment card information is less popular and less expensive than it was previously, account information from a payment company has become the most valuable. Paypal accounts, for example, with a guaranteed balance of $500, are sold at an average of $6.43.
Ryan Wilk, director of customer success at NuData, recently shared his thoughts with CardNotPresent.com, “Consumers can only do so much with all that data floating around out there. It’s really on the merchants and the FIs to take care of. Being able to identify the difference between a human interacting with that environment or some sort of automation and being able to do it at a more sophisticated level.”
With the spike in fraud, the need for identity protection is at the forefront of consumers’ minds – or should be. It is more important than ever for merchants to be aware of this imminent threat to their customers’ personal information, along with the impact it can have on their business. For NuData, the past six months has involved account-creation fraud doubling from the numbers previously experienced. From May to July, of the more than 500 million account creations the company experienced, 57 percent were flagged as high-risk or outright fraudulent; this is a stark comparison to the 28 percent experienced in the three months prior. In light of this overwhelming fraud, what can a merchant do?
Many merchants have sought after high risk merchant account services to protect both their customers’ personal information and the future growth and success of their business. A high risk merchant account with a high risk specialist – like EMB – offers a merchant the payment processing solutions they need, while also protecting the business from fraud. As a comprehensive chargeback insurance provider, EMB protects against fraudulent attacks through its Chargeback Shield program. As a high risk provider, businesses categorized as high risk can also secure the services they need through a simple, fast and hassle-free application process.