The Year Ahead in Fraud: What stays the same? What changes?

Moving on from adversity is human nature. That sometimes means that the institutional memory for crisis response can be short. It is very possible in 2021 that organizations will put 2020 behind them and not heed the fraud lessons learned. 

The COVID pandemic was an accelerant for cyber-fraud. The swift response by some companies in combatting it has increased the gap between winners and losers in the fraud prevention space. 

All of this points to a world that has been permanently changed by the COVID pandemic, and a world where there is more, and more-sophisticated, online fraud. Preparing your enterprise for a continued onslaught by the fraudsters and becoming more cyber-resilient are must-have goals for fraud teams in 2021.

COVID Fraud: Five Enduring Changes to the Fraud Landscape

Amidst the many, long-lasting changes in how criminals plan and commit fraud, we see the following five areas having the most impact:

  1. Growth of the Dark Web

    • Cyber-fraud and the Dark Web have grown in parallel. The Dark Web is now a robust marketplace for criminals. The level of collaboration, sophistication, and efficiency of use has continued to grow, thus making an environment where fraudsters are training and supporting each other as effectively maybe more effectively than their white-hat counterparts. This is only set to increase in the years ahead, with Dark Web “stores” allowing for the dissemination and sale of fraud-related plans, and tools to individuals looking to break into this area of crime but lacking the technical know-how. However, there are ways to fight back, including Dark Web monitoring tools to provide early detection of breaches.
  2. Increase in Cybercrime-as-a-Service (CaaS)

    • Traditional organized crime groups are adaptable, going where the money and opportunity lie. Cybercrime is no different. The success of the Dark Web has laid the foundation for the growth of CaaS. Utilizing legal measures to obscure activity, like VPN and privacy-oriented policies, CaaS operations can be challenging to detect. CaaS will continue as a semi-organized criminal organization to distribute and enable cyber fraud. Consequently, the collaboration of fraudsters and the ability of the Dark Web to facilitate trafficking in schemes, will make executing fraud easier and more ubiquitous. Countering these criminal organizations requires modern AI technologies to perform entity analysis for identifying relationships and compromised data for early detection and minimal impact. 
  3. Escalation of Ransomware

    • Of all the threats that increased in 2020, ransomware was the most menacing and potentially lethal. Literally lethal, in the case of hospitals, health-care providers, and other critical infrastructure companies. The popularity of these vicious attacks amongst fraudsters is creating a robust Ransomware-as-a-Service market as a subset within CaaS, with increasing levels of collaboration, and distribution made available on the dark web. The monitoring of targets for determining the optimum timing to maximize ransom has allowed this fraud genre to grow in scale, sophistication, and damage.
  4. Remote Workforce Vulnerabilities: COVID Fraud and Beyond

    • Remote work will not continue at the estimated 70% of the current workforce, but there will be a sizable, and probably permanent, increase over pre-COVID levels. This will require a continued focus on security for remote employees. In the future, companies will be required to offer more flexibility in working arrangements and, therefore, will need increased security measures for securing this remote workforce.
  5. e-Commerce Attacks

    • There is likely to be a reduction in online sales post-vaccine as surviving brick-and-mortar stores get back to full capacity. Still, online sales will be elevated over pre-COVID as some buying habits have permanently changed, and many retail stores have closed for good. For e-Commerce providers, this means no relaxation in your organization’s vigilance, as the fraudsters will continue to aggressively prey on the unprepared.

Help prepare your organization for 2021 and the coming years with the fraud prevention technologies and tactics your organization needs to stay ahead. Find out more in our eBook Fraud During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Year in Review”

Fraud Management Built for Business provides a comprehensive fraud management solution. The system allows you to access all your fraud detection data, case reviews, and intelligence on a single screen. Our solutions enable you to detect in real-time fraudulent activity for 99.5+% of transactions.

Learn more about how’s advanced AI models, fraud prevention and analytics platform can increase revenue, reduce fraud, and improve the efficiency of your fraud team.