New Fraud Trends 2022
The growing digital world is making it easier than ever for us to connect and learn more, but it also places each of us at a heightened level of risk. Each year, cybersecurity experts are learning how to navigate fraud, but these efforts are only so effective. As more fraudsters are strengthened by powerful technology, their efforts are getting more complex too. In this article, we will address some of the most commonly seen trends from 2022.
What Are Fraud Trends?
Fraud trends are common recurrences of fraudulent behavior that we see each year. These trends often roll through different areas, impacting large numbers of people at different times. A type of fraud becomes a trend when more companies begin to see it influencing their businesses—or more individuals start to fall victim to it. Already, organized digital fraud is expected to reach $10.5 million in damages each year by 2025.
Why Are There Trends in Fraud?
It can seem odd that there are actual trends when it comes to fraud, but it actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. As more fraudsters realize they can get away with a certain type of fraud, more people start doing it. Sometimes, the growing number of fraudsters happens on an individual basis, but it can also be a part of a growing, orchestrated attack. We often think of those who commit fraud as one-off shady actors, but these individuals and groups can actually be fairly advanced.
Fraud Trends to Keep an Eye Out For
Finding the right way to push back against fraud is important, but being able to identify it is the best thing that you can do. When you know what to look out for, you will be less likely to become a victim of these growing fraud trends. Keep an eye out for these popular trends so you can protect your money and identity.
Phishing scams have been common for so long that most of us know to discourage older relatives from opening questionable emails. However, phishing fraud has taken on a nice new look. Knowing that the average person doesn’t read spam emails anymore, fraud groups have transitioned to text-based scams. Now, they are using your phone number to send text messages with questionable links, often pretending to offer updates about royalty programs or delivery details for online purchases.
More people are using third-party tools to block spam bots and robocalls because the volume is getting out of control. Organized crime groups are targeting today’s mobile phone owners at volume by using robots to spam dial all of them. These bots can connect you with a “live representative” or may ask you to offer certain details. Most commonly, they pretend to be organizations you might be connected with. These bots often even use local phone numbers to seem more realistic.
Leaked Data Bots
We love the convenience of Amazon being able to tell us what to buy next, but not all robots are used for good. At their core, bots have the ability to do a series of tasks very rapidly, and that makes them capable of doing what humans cannot do with leaked data.
Between the first and third quarters of 2022, roughly 15 million data records were exposed online. Previously, leaked data would have to be manually entered by someone. Now, criminals are using bots and leaked data to find ways into your other accounts. If you use the same login information for multiple accounts, someone can get the login for one account and use bots to see what other websites it might work for.
Digital Identity Fraud
We live in an era of impersonators, and it is commonly seen online. Already, people are using fake profiles and online tools to impersonate other individuals. Whether it is someone using your photo to ask your uncle for money or a stranger using your online notoriety to sell products to your audience under your name, these takeovers are a recipe for disaster.
In-app browsers are quickly becoming the new standard, but they might not be as convenient as you think. In fact, some apps actually monitor what you do when you use the browser through their app. This means that you may be unknowingly giving your data away to the people who are responsible for running the app—and this can often go well-beyond browsers.
Android users, in particular, are at a heightened risk of having their data stolen from third-party apps. It is always best to use apps you can trust and be aware of the service agreements in place.
Digital Sales Fraud
The gig economy is thriving, and more people are finding exactly what they want online. Of course, not every online “business” is as dedicated as they pretend to be. Due to the growing number of ways to sell online, con artists and criminals are taking a larger interest in online marketplaces. When shopping online, customers run the risk of purchasing low-quality products or even purchasing services from someone who might not be qualified at all. Be sure to look at reviews and work with people who seem like credible business owners.
Although digital customers are at risk of fraud, so are online business owners. With the digital payment gateways and payment types at play when you shop online, fraudsters are realizing that protective measures for customers can be weaponized. More digital business owners are experiencing a form of fraud where customers purchase something, then contact their credit card company to have the money refunded. In the end, these individuals get the product or service for free, leaving business owners to take the loss.
Keep an Eye Out for Fraud in 2023
There are always going to be people who have criminal intent when interacting with the public, and that is why we all must remain informed and vigilant. As long as we take active steps to recognize and push back against fraud, we lower the level of damage that these individuals can do. Every year, be sure to catch up on trends—and if you see something concerning online, always look into it. It is best to exercise caution and be informed about the potential risks.