5 Surprising Findings from the 2020 Holiday Fraud Report

Despite widespread reports of fraud increasing because of COVID-19, Jumio customers actually saw a 23% decrease in fraud in 2020.

That was just one of the unexpected findings in the fourth edition of Jumio’s Holiday New Account Fraud Report. Every year, our holiday fraud report examines the attempts that users made to fraudulently open new accounts with Jumio customers. It targets the period from January through October as well as the month of November to cover the holiday shopping period and compares the rates to previous years. The analysis considers a variety of industries and geographies around the globe as well as the different implementation channels.

This year, the report also analyzed the difference between ID fraud attempts, where a user submitted a fraudulent ID during the onboarding journey, versus selfie fraud attempts, where the user attempted to use a picture or video (e.g., deepfake) instead of a genuine selfie to corroborate their digital identity.

Here are five surprising findings from the report:

1. When end users upload a picture of their government-issued ID instead of capturing a photo of it using their webcam, the fraud rates are more than twice as high. It’s much easier to manipulate a photo than a real document, and fraudsters can easily find images on the dark web or just using a Google search.

2. Financial services, crypto and gaming all had healthy drops in fraud rates, even though these industries tend to have higher fraud overall because the financial reward tends to be greater.

3. Although developed nations had fraud rates around 1% or less, there were some outliers. The UK experienced a sharp increase in fraud rates in November, whereas the Philippines and India saw a dramatic reduction during that same month.

4. Fraud rates with passports increased sharply between 2018 and 2019 but dropped by 23% in 2020. This could be a function of biometric passports that have an embedded NFC chip.

5. Fraud associated with the selfie averaged 7.15% globally, five times more than the rate of ID-based fraud. By virtue of requiring an ID and a selfie, Jumio has seen 80% less fraud compared to customers who only require a government-issued ID. The evidence suggests that the selfie requirement is deterring would-be fraudsters who abandon the process before ever taking the selfie.

The report explores possible explanations for these trends and includes several practical recommendations for maximizing fraud deterrence in your organization. To read the full report, download it here.