Brian Sims

Suspected digital fraud in UK witnesses 40% spike around Black Friday

THE AVERAGE number of suspected digital fraud attempts for transactions from the UK on any given day surrounding Black Friday was 40% higher than the average for the rest of the year. That’s according to global information and insights company TransUnion.

The findings of TransUnion’s collated data study indicate that the share of suspected digital fraud during this period, which traditionally marks the start of Christmas shopping, reached its peak on Cyber Monday (22%) (ie 28 November). Meanwhile, Black Friday – 25 November – and Sunday 27 November (at both 21%) were close behind.

However, the amount of potential fraud was high in all of the surrounding days, and with gift buying set to continue in the run-up to the big day itself, the increase in volume of e-commerce transactions relative to the rest of the year may well cause further issues.

Shail Deep, chief product officer at TransUnion in the UK, explained: “Fraudsters shift their focus and align with consumer behaviour, so just as the start of the seasonal shopping period signals a boom in purchases, it also means a sharp increase in fraud attempts. The recent rapid digital acceleration we’ve seen is here to stay. Many will be doing their festive shopping online. This means digital fraud poses a high risk. It’s crucial that retailers use every tool at their disposal to protect themselves and their customers.”

Significant spike

TransUnion’s analysis shows that the start of the 2022 festive shopping season witnessed a significant spike in digital fraud as around one-in-six (ie 17%) of e-commerce transactions in the UK between 24 November and 28 November were suspected to be fraudulent.

These findings are based on intelligence from billions of transactions contained in TransUnion’s own TruValidate fraud analytics solution suite.

Josh Gunnell, director of fraud and ID at TransUnion in the UK, observed: “Clearly, digital fraud remains a big risk for retailers. Having the right protections in place is critical. It’s also essential for them to provide consumers with necessary information that can help prevent them from becoming the victims of fraud, and particularly so in a challenging economic environment.”

Gunnell added: “Given the rising cost of living and financially vulnerable consumers becoming ripe targets for scammers, retailers will be working hard behind the scenes in the lead-up to Christmas to protect consumers, while in parallel striving to offer them a seamless shopping experience that minimises unnecessary friction.”

Monitoring digital fraud

TransUnion monitors digital fraud attempts reported by businesses in varied industries such as retail, gambling, gaming, financial services, healthcare, insurance, travel and leisure (among others).

The conclusions of the company’s latest analysis are based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in the dedicated TruValidate fraud analytics suite.

Company Info


64 High Street, RH19 3DE
East Grinstead
RH19 3DE

04478 18 574309

Login / Sign up