With the advent of COVID-19, purchases for leisure and business flights in the latter half of March were at an all-time low. Yet reports of credit card fraud for air travel showed little to no decrease during that time frame.
What’s up with that?
According to Forter, the e-commerce fraud prevention company, despite historic lows in purchases of airline tickets (upwards of a 92% decrease roughly 2 months ago), credit card fraud for air purchases remains relatively steady. In fact, it’s thriving, as per Forter’s senior product marketing manager Daniel Shkedi.
The reason is simple.
In March and April, regular leisure travel decreased immensely because of the coronavirus pandemic. But as borders closed and airlines begin canceling flights, people were rushing to go wherever it was they wanted to be for the long term.
Airline security tools that look for fraud are usually programmed to flag unusual transactions. Such as, for example, a person with a U.S.-issued credit card who books a last-second, one-way ticket that originates in a different country from where they live. A transaction like that would usually trigger an alert, but with so many people legitimately doing that type of transaction in March, airlines had to change the rules of their security tools to reflect that. Not surprisingly, fraudsters took advantage of the opportunity.
Forter hasn’t yet done a deep analysis of this or other types of credit card fraud related to airlines, credit cards, and points/miles. Such a task would involve delving into the dark web and there’s a lot of difficulty in doing proper measuring in a place like that.
But if nothing else, this just goes to show that fraudsters never take breaks. Not even during worldwide pandemics. So stay vigilant and check all your accounts frequently, to ensure there isn’t anything happening there that shouldn’t.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary