May 1, 2012, 12:00 AM

Online retail fraud picks up in 2011

Online retail fraud picks up in 2011.

Online revenue lost to fraud rose 26% to $3.4 billion last year, accounting for 1% of the $340 billion retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. and Canada as figured by CyberSource Corp. for its 2012 Annual Fraud Report. The total includes transactions at government, education and not-for-profit organizations as well as retail sales of consumer goods, event tickets and travel services. The increase in fraud corresponded with a 13% rise in online sales from the $300 billion CyberSource reported for 2010, when it said fraud accounted for 0.9% of online sales. Interestingly, the report indicates that criminals are hitting fewer if larger orders; it notes that the percentage of accepted online orders that turned out to be fraudulent last year fell overall to 0.6% from 0.9% in 2010. That decline was bigger for most of the 325 retailers surveyed. But one group that accounted for about 15% of respondents—those with annual online sales between $5 million and $25 million—showed a slight increase in the percentage of accepted orders gone bad, to 1.2% from 1.1%.

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