Ina Opperman
Business Journalist
2 minute read
6 Dec 2021
3:32 pm

SA’s scammers had a very lucrative Black Friday

Ina Opperman

It was not only consumers who picked up good bargains around Black Friday. Scammers scored, too.

Picture: iStock

Scammers also had a good Black Friday this year, with suspected digital shopping fraud in South Africa increasing by 4.2% to 7.8% between 25 and 29 November compared to last year.

Globally 17.5% of all global e-commerce transactions are suspected to be fraudulent, 3.7% higher than last year when it was 16.8%.

According to TransUnion’s fraud analysis for South Africa during the start of the holiday shopping season and entire year from 2019 to 2021, suspected fraudulent transactions totalled 16.6% so far in 2021 and 17.8% in 2020.

In 2019 7.1% of online transactions were classified as suspected fraudulent transactions during the Black Friday weekend, while 5.4% of transactions were suspected as fraudulent in 2019.

ALSO READ: Cybersecurity researchers warn of delivery scams following Black Friday

The Saturday after Black Friday was the most popular day globally for scammers to try fraudulent transactions and in South Africa, the Sunday, similar to countries such as the UK and Kenya.

Hans Zachar, vice-president and head of solutions for TransUnion Africa, says the holiday shopping season is a popular time globally for scammers to commit fraud, especially in the e-commerce and retail industry.

“Online shopping is the new norm for the majority of consumers and the trend has accelerated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumers want to shop at online retailers that not only provide a seamless user experience, but also take their security and privacy seriously.”

He says it is therefore important that online businesses ensure that they have the right tools to detect fraud at the first warning sign without inhibiting the consumer journey.

ALSO READ: Black Friday: consumers spent more money, bought online and spent a lot on electronics

The spike of suspected digital fraud during what are traditionally the busiest days of the holiday shopping season occurred as consumers expressed concern about being victimised.

TransUnion’s Q3 2021 Consumer Pulse Study found that two in five (40.0%) of South African consumers are aware of being targeted by a digital fraud attempt in the past three months.

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