Kenya’s Gambling, Travel Sectors Top Target For Online Fraudsters

Findings from TransUnion’s quarterly digital fraud analysis found that the fraudsters have shifted their focus to the sectors from the financial services, telecommunications, and online dating sites sectors which were the main target in 2021 as they have invested more in digital safety.

“What we observed in Kenya and globally is that sophisticated fraudsters are shifting their focus to target new industries as sectors previously targeted have ramped up fraud prevention measures. In other words, fraudsters are constantly seeking out new opportunities based on vulnerabilities,”

– said Amritha Reddy, Head of Fraud at TransUnion South Africa.

The financial services industry saw the largest year-on-year (YoY) decrease in the suspected fraud attempt rate for digital transactions coming from Kenya, at -71.5 per cent.

When digital fraud in financial services did occur, TransUnion found the most dominant type in that industry globally was first-party application fraud.

That’s when an individual completes fraudulent applications that contain intentionally inaccurate or manipulated information with the intention of receiving a lower rate or better terms for a policy or contract.

The gambling industry exhibited the greatest YoY growth in the rate of suspected digital fraud coming in Kenya in Q1 2022, at 48.7 per cent, with the most prevalent type of fraud in that sector globally being promotion abuse – where a user abuses site promotions such as refer-a-friend, reload deposit bonuses and free giveaways.

The travel and leisure industry experienced the second highest YoY increase from Kenya, at 25.1 per cent, where fraudsters look to take advantage as the sector opens up and Kenyans start travelling again.

Overall, the rate of digital fraud originating from Kenya decreased in Q1 2022, with the percentage of suspected online fraud attempts declining by 60.9 per cent from the same quarter last year, in line with the global decrease of 22.6 per cent during that same time period.

“As digital fraud rates stabilize in Kenya during a period when fraudsters are searching for new vulnerabilities, it’s important that organizations shift their focus to identifying more of the ‘good’ customers and transactions to drive revenue and customer lifetime value. By reducing false positives, false declines and manual review rates, organizations can improve their customer experience through trusted connections while still keeping the fraudsters at bay,” – said Reddy.


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