TransUnion Study Notes Uptick in Digital Fraud Attempts in Hong Kong

TransUnion Study Notes Uptick in Digital Fraud Attempts in Hong Kong

by April 16, 2021

TransUnion’s latest quarterly analysis of global online fraud trends found that since the COVID-19 pandemic began, fraudsters in Hong Kong are increasing their digital schemes against businesses.

In addition, provisional findings of TransUnion’s recent Global Consumer Pulse Study found that 36% of Hong Kong consumers have recently been targeted by digital fraud.

Source: TransUnion’s Consumer Pulse Study

It found the suspected fraudulent digital transaction attempts originating from Hong Kong increased 19.25% in 2021 compared to the year 2020.

Jerry Ying, TransUnion APAC’s chief products officer.

Jerry Ying

“Fraudsters are always looking to take advantage of significant world events. The COVID-19 pandemic and its corresponding rapid digital acceleration brought about by stay-at-home measures is a global event unrivaled in the online age,”

said Jerry Ying, Chief Product Officer APAC of TransUnion.

“By analysing billions of transactions we screened for fraud indicators over the past year, it has become clear that the war against the virus has also brought about a war against digital fraud.”


Consumers Targeted By COVID-19 Schemes

Provisional findings from TransUnion’s Consumer Pulse Study, a survey of 785 Hong Kong consumers from March 5-22, 2021, also found that 36% of Hong Kong consumers said they have been targeted by digital fraud related to COVID-19 in the last three months, which is 20% higher than approximately one year ago.

In April 2020, 30% said they had been targeted by digital fraud related to COVID-19. The full results of the TransUnion Hong Kong Consumer Pulse Survey are set to be released later this April.

Gen Z are currently the most targeted out of any generation at 44%. They are followed by millennials (born 1980-1994) at 40%.

Among consumers in Hong Kong reporting being targeted with digital COVID-19 schemes, the top recently reported pandemic-themed scam is phishing with 37% saying they were hit with it.

Source: TransUnion’s Consumer Pulse Study

Suspected Digital Fraud Attempt Rate Post-Pandemic Declaration

Results showed a significant increase in attempted fraud from Hong Kong against logistics companies. The level almost trebled (up 199%) and has been a significant development during COVID-19 times.

Similarly, with more people at home due to COVID-19-related restriction they are gaming more, and fraudsters are going where the transactions are and as a result attempted fraud coming from Hong Kong in the gaming industry more than doubled (up 122%).

“With more people shopping online during the pandemic, goods are having to be shipped and fraudsters know this. They are either redirecting genuine orders or placing fraudulent orders with compromised consumer accounts to genuine customer addresses, and then redirecting them once shipped,”

said Ying.

“Despite these threats, consumers demand businesses both protect their transactions and still maintain convenient digital experiences. The businesses that come out on top are those that balance both.”