Fraudsters target the beautiful game for bountiful gain

Jumio, Inc., the mobile credentials management company, has released a white paper Don't Fall Foul of Fraud at the World Cup educating and advising business on fraud. Fraud at major sporting events is always a large problem and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil is no exception.

In 2010 when South Africa hosted the World Cup fraud levels in the country rose by 53%[1] during the tournament. What's more, the three provinces that hosted the games accounted for 92.5%[2] of total credit card fraud losses in South Africa for the entire year. Jumio's new whitepaper—Don't Fall Foul of Fraud at the World Cup—illuminates the massive scale of fraud potential in Brazil while informing businesses how to both mitigate and combat the threat.

Although the World Cup lasts just four weeks, fraudsters, much like football teams, begin their preparation and build-up to the event years in advance – indeed over 33%[3] of the Brazilian population has experienced card fraud over the past 5 years amounting to losses of over $150 million[4]. The consequences for business can be severe and if managed incorrectly an apparent boom in business can actually result in companies going bust.

Here is a breakdown of the countries represented at the World Cup whose citizens are most susceptible to fraud during the World Cup 2014[5]:

Fans are targeted by fraudsters in a variety of ways, including:

  • Luring fans into paying for non-existent or unavailable accommodation for the World Cup through fake adverts and websites
  • Emailing people with bogus offers to submit tenders for fake World Cup contracts or claim fake World Cup related competition prizes.
  • Fake FIFA websites and selling counterfeit tickets. [Note: These sites typically have numerous sub-domains to target different countries and are difficult to trace.]

Marc Barach, Chief Marketing Officer at Jumio comments, "in my experience of fraud, the gathering of large groups of people into one place makes for a target-rich environment for a fraudster, especially during high profile events like the World Cup. Businesses shouldn't sit back and take it, but instead take measures to protect themselves and their customers."

The whitepaper from Jumio offers advice on How to show fraudsters the red card. Here are the 7 key insights businesses should heed when tackling fraud:

  1. Know your starting line-up – Ensure you can tell fraudsters from legitimate customers.
  2. Look at your previous performances – Learn from previous fraud attacks, including during past major sporting events.
  3. Expect a high turnout – Fraudsters will take advantage of increased traffic during the world cup. There will be more of them as well as more customers.
  4. Adopt a flexible formation – Be prepared to adapt your fraud strategy to cope with the World Cup period.
  5. Look after your supporters – Fast track repeat customers to free up resources and catch fraudsters.
  6. Study your opponents – Take note of trends in fraud attacks and act on them.
  7. Avoid misconduct fines – Chargebacks cost business in both profit and reputation, avoid them.

Barach concludes, "An event as fantastic as the World Cup should be a positive experience, highlighting a brilliant sport and offering a superb opportunity for businesses to prosper. Unfortunately to succeed business must protect themselves against fraud. This is why we at Jumio believe in not only providing cutting edge technological solutions for payment authentication and ID verification but also offering expert advice and insight."


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