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Multiple accounts promotion abuse on rise during pandemic

By Chris Dawson May 26, 2020 - 6:00 am

The May edition of the Forter monthly COVID-19 Report reveals the impact of the current climate on consumer behaviour and fraud and abuse trends. Now consumers are buying online, opening multiple accounts is on the rise to use promotions multiple times. This is something we’ve often seen on marketplaces when they issue site wide deep discounts with consumers buying from multiple user IDs to maximise on savings. On the plus side, returns abuse is reported to be down 22%.

For many businesses that have traditionally been store-first, the current environment has led to a tremendous shift in focus, with online becoming the primary channel. Businesses no longer have the option of combining their brick and mortar services with small online operations and, as a result, digital transformation is required in order to survive. Now, a month after its April report, Forter is seeing new and steady increases in online consumer purchasing volumes that have forced businesses to readjust their strategies once again.

Overview of key findings:

  • Fraud Trends

    Promo Abuse (consumers take advantage of discounts by opening multiple accounts in order to reuse promotions), Account takeover Attempts (increased by 179%), Gift Card Fraud, Contactless Delivery Issues, Loyalty Fraud, Collusion (54% increase), Returns Abuse (22% decrease).

  • Marketplaces

    88% increase in transactions ↑

  • Apparel & Accessories

    99% increase in transactions ↑

    • Eyewear

      648% increase ↑

    • Jewellery

      17% increase ↑

  • Beauty & Personal Care

    235% increase in transactions ↑

    • Coupon abuse in this sector has increased by 55% ↑
  • Food & Beverage

    190% increase in transactions ↑

    • Alcohol

      300% increase ↑

  • Groceries & Delivery

    236% increase in transactions ↑

    • Bananas

      33% increase (of the proportion of cart items) ↑

  • Home Furnishings & Garden

    399% increase in transactions ↑

    • Mattresses & Bedding

      587% increase in transactions ↑

Note: Percentage changes for each category are the transaction volume for the week ending 3rd May 2020.

You’re unlikely to be too concerned about multiple accounts promotion abuse on marketplaces – you don’t get to choose your customers anyway so it’s down to the marketplaces themselves to regulate. However, if you are offering one off limited use deep discounts to attract new buyers or re-engage existing buyers on your own website then you may wish to keep an eye out for multiple accounts promotion abuse. This is a time when you might expect to see a huge rise in new customer accounts as they migrate online from the high street, but some of those accounts might be duplicates just to take advantage of promotions or discounts on offer.

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