4 characteristics that make fraud in the travel segment riskier

29/11/17

Fraud is a phenomenon already known by retailers worldwide, especially in non-face-to-face sales. An unidentified attack at an appropriate time can ruin entire business (and dreams).

To combat fraud, we must always keep in mind that fraudsters are like companies in many respects: they seek profitability, and therefore are attentive to “market demands” (ie potential buyers’ desire items) and monitor their stock levels; assess the risk of their “investments”, even forming associations to exchange best practices, among other initiatives.

One of the most targeted segments by fraudsters is travel, as it offers high and quick profit opportunities. With that in mind, we have put together four very valuable information to understand how fraud in this area differs from others.

1- Fraud is less risky for the fraudster

When the fraud involves the delivery of a product, the fraudster exposes himself in some way, as he will need to guarantee his receipt, either with delivery where he has access, or getting partners in the delivery chain.

In the travel segment, it is not necessary to change the buyer’s address data, since the reservation will be received by e-mail. As in most cases, the fraudster will not be the passenger, he will expose himself less, not compromising an address linked to him or to people related to him, nor presenting himself in the place of embarkation.

This also makes fraud prevention more complex because the fraudster needs to change less data in the user’s registry. Moreover, it is very common to purchase authentic passages for third parties in this segment (parents buying for children, friends buying for friends, etc.), with change of the email sending the reservation so that the passenger has the travel documents. That is, there is less evidence to differentiate authentic transactions from fraudulent transactions than traditional e-commerce requests.

2- The “resale” happens before the fraud

A common retail fraudster focuses on products that are the best combination of high value and speed of sale, such as cell phones, for example. In this sense, he must succeed in fraud and receive the product to be able to profit.

Already with travel, the situation is reversed. The fraudster needs to know the excerpt, date and time that he will sell in order to profit from the fraud. This often entails first selling a ticket and then performing the fraud to get it. That is, even if the passenger is prevented from embarking, the fraudster has already profited from the sale.

3- The passenger does not always know that their passage is the result of fraud

There are reports of fraudster ads going through travel agencies that have special prices to attract customers and as a result many passengers arrive at the airport without even imagining that they have participated in a fraud. Many of them understand that they have paid a travel agent for their tickets and have the right to board.

This requires airlines to have a lot of customer service skills so as not to have a negative impact on their own image. On the other hand, if done well, this contact can generate important inputs on the fraudster and help in the prevention of new frauds.

4- Timing is everything. Same.

In ordinary retail, the fraudster may even opt for an express delivery, but the deadline always starts counting from the moment the purchase was approved, which involves the release of credit and anti-fraud authentication. This approval time is usually fixed (or with a fixed limit), with little impact on the success of the fraud.

When buying tickets, the logic is reversed: the flight has a day and a time to take place, which means that buying too far in advance increases the chances that the fraudster will notice the debit on his card, report the fraud and the ticket will be canceled.

Even if you have already profited from the ticket, the longer you can keep up with it, the more customers you will have without having to change the advertisement, the “service” location, etc. It is worth remembering what we mentioned earlier: fraudsters work as companies and seek greater profitability.

For all these characteristics, fraud in the travel segment needs special attention. Given the attractiveness of the segment, fraudsters often innovate in the form of attack, finding new fragility at all times, which requires that the fraud prevention solution has the same dynamism.

Therefore, generic prevention solutions tend to be less effective as they are slower in detecting and responding to changes in purchasing behavior. It is important to use platforms that apply multiple approaches to fraud detection, encompassing different technologies and intelligence that can fit the specific scenario of each client, such as artificial intelligence, behavior analytics and assisted monitoring.

Keeping low levels of fraud without impacting revenue is no easy task, but choosing the right platform can bring a healthy balance between these variables. It is worth investing in the search of the best partner for the sustainability of your business and guarantee of tranquility in the day to day.

Article extracted from ClearSale.

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