Phishing is the top COVID-19-related digital fraud scheme worldwide, according to new research from TransUnion’s ongoing Consumer Financial Hardship studies.
“It’s clear that fraudsters have the data and increasing opportunities to create synthetic identities and utilize stolen identities,” said Shai Cohen, senior vice president of global fraud and identity solutions at the credit-tracking company.
“Identity fraud is a primary way fraudsters leverage stolen consumer data from phishing and other social engineering schemes,” Cohen said. “It can have long-term impacts for consumers, such as the compromise of multiple online accounts and bringing down credit scores, which we anticipate will increase during pandemic reconstruction.”
TransUnion surveyed 7,384 adults in the U.S. as well as Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, South Africa and the U.K. June 30-July 6.
It asked consumers if they had been targeted by digital COVID-19 fraud, and if so, what was its nature. Globally, 32% said they had been targeted. Top reported scams:
- Phishing, 27%.
- Third-party-seller scams on legitimate online retail websites, 21%.
- Charity and fundraising scam, 19%.
- Unemployment scam, 18%.
- Fraudulent COVID-19 vaccines, cures, tests and PPE, 15%
- Fake insurance, 15%.
- Shipping fraud, 14%.
- Identity theft, 14%.
- Stolen credit card or fraudulent charges, 13%.
- Stimulus check scam, 12%.
- Someone changing personal or account information via a call center, 12%.
- Account taken over, 11%.