Vienna, June 2019

CRIF DACH Survey 2019: Fraud in e-commerce continues to increase. Focus on Austria results.

CRIF GmbH in Austria, CRIF AG in Switzerland and CRIF BÜRGEL in Germany interviewed e-commerce companies from Austria, Germany and Switzerland about their fraud experiences. While the majority of respondents in Austria (54%) and Germany (73%) think online fraud increased in 2018, only 46% of Swiss respondents saw an increase.

According to the survey results, 87% of Austrian online store operators faced fraud or a fraud attempt in 2018. That is about 8 percentage points more than the year before. In Germany and Switzerland, as in the previous year, this was the case for 97% and 92% of respondents.

"There are now hardly any online retailers who have not suffered financial losses from organized fraud. Fraudsters’ methods are becoming more and more professional and difficult to see through. That is precisely why preventive measures must be taken," said Gerald Sebastian Eder, Head of E-Commerce Business Development.

Identity fraud and the inability to pay are the most common forms of fraud

According to the surveyed Austrian online store operators, all retailers were affected by fraud attempts with falsified name or address data (100%). The majority of German dealers also had this experience (97%). Identity theft follows in second place: 85% of Austrian companies had already come across a customer who turned out to be a completely different real person (Germany: 91%, Switzerland: 67%). Even the inability to pay - namely ordering a commodity with the awareness of not being able to pay the bill - represents a major problem for many traders. In Austria, 77% of respondents cited this form of fraud, in Germany it was 85% and in Switzerland 89%. While in Austria, 38% of online store operators said they had encountered fraud using fictitious payment data, in Germany and Switzerland the figure was only 6% in both cases.

Losses of over € 10,000 for 46% of Austrian online retailers

If you take a look at the total amount of losses incurred in the last twelve months, 46% of Austrian online retailers have lost a total of between 10,000 and 50,000 euros (Germany: 31%, Switzerland: 8%). For 71% of Swiss online retailers, the total loss in the last twelve months was less than 5,000 francs.

Predicament of manual fraud prevention

87% of the surveyed online retailers in the DACH region use manual fraud detection measures. This means that employees manually review suspicious orders. In Austria, 86% of online shop operators rely on this measure. At the same time, however, avoiding manual checks is a major challenge for 60% of Austrian respondents.

"Here is clearly a recognizable predicament. Manual checks are associated with a significant use of time and personnel, which is why it is necessary to switch to automated processes. CRIF sees itself as a solution provider and helps the e-commerce industry to identify customers and avoid fraud. In doing so, we automatically check orders for fraud patterns based on defined fraud characteristics, such as the device used for the order," explained Eder.


About the study

The e-commerce fraud survey was conducted by CRIF throughout the DACH area. Around 120 online and mail order companies from the CRIF customer base were interviewed in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.