The number of fraud cases involving consumer products rose in 2016, according to a report by research firm Kantar Worldpanel.
According to Kantar, fraud cases jumped 8.4% to 9,091, which is the highest since the company started tracking cases in 2010.
“The rise in fraud has been driven by the rise in the number of fraudulent transactions, as well as a number of different ways consumers are engaging with products and services,” said Dr. Matthew McInerney, CEO of Kantar.
“It’s also been driven in part by the growing demand for online and mobile banking, which has driven up the number and sophistication of fraudulent schemes.”
Kantar analyzed data from more than 150,000 consumer products and online and smartphone banking services from more the world’s 100 largest companies, and found that more than 2.3 million fraudulent charges were recorded by consumers in the first quarter of 2017, up from 1.9 million in the second quarter of 2016.
The number of consumers who were charged with fraud jumped 14.4 percentage points to 1.2 million from the previous quarter.
The average charge for a fraud charge rose 19.6% to $5,837.
There were more than 100,000 fraudulent charges per day for the first three months of the year, compared to the same period last year.
In the first half of 2017 alone, there were more fraudulent charges of $15,400 than there were in the whole of 2016, said the report.
The report said that there are a number to several reasons for the rise.
“For example, the growth in the adoption of mobile and online banking means fraudsters are more effective at gaining access to consumers,” McInerrney said.
“Additionally, the proliferation of social media means fraud is spreading.
Consumers may be less likely to take responsibility for transactions because they’re not able to quickly access the information and/or engage in proactive disclosure, which can lead to fraud being hidden from the public eye.”
Consumer advocates, however, say the rise is alarming.
“As the number one threat to consumer security, fraud continues to be a real concern for consumers and law enforcement,” said Robert D. Johnson, executive director of the Consumer Advocates Alliance.
“We must be proactive about taking steps to keep the public safe, but we must also be vigilant and do what is necessary to keep fraud from taking hold of the financial system.
Consumers deserve a financial system that is safe and secure, not one that can be manipulated by fraudsters.”
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