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Virtual robbery Swiss online retailers increasingly hit by fraudsters

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Can she afford it? Shopping online in Switzerland with the TWINT app.

(Keystone)

A survey of online retailers in Switzerland has shown that losses due to customer fraud are growing – though most scams involve relatively small amounts of money.

The survey published on Wednesday by the Crif risk managementexternal link firmexternal link shows that some 92% of the online retailers polled had experienced online fraud at least once over the past year.

And though most losses were reported to be quite low at under CHF5,000 ($5,012), overall financial costs were higher than in last year’s survey, Crif noted. Larger-scale scams of between CHF10,000 and CHF100,000 were also up.

The most common method of fraud was when customers ordered products online even when they knew they did not have the credit to afford them. The next most frequent was customers buying goods and giving false information.

Identity fraud and the use of stolen credit cards were also reported to be growing phenomena.

+ The rise of online shopping in Switzerland over the past decade

Retailers are well aware of the spreading practices, with more than 95% of those surveyed saying they take measures to detect fraud. For example, 62% have their own ‘blacklists’, while 24% use fraud filters. Some large online merchants even have their own “fraud prevention teams”.

The increase in online fraud comes hand in hand with an overall increase in online shopping by Swiss consumers, some half of whom reported shopping online “regularly” at the end of 2017.

Keystone-SDA/dos

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