Suspected Digital Holiday Shopping Fraud in Canada Increases 58% Compared to Rest of 2022

TransUnion analyzes early holiday e-commerce fraud attempt rates

A new TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) study on 2022 holiday e-commerce fraud, released today, reveals that 6% of e-commerce transactions originating from Canada between Thursday, Nov. 24 and Monday, Nov. 28 were suspected to be fraudulent. Based on intelligence from billions of transactions contained in TransUnion’s TruValidate™ fraud analytics solution suite, TransUnion also found there was a 58% increase in the average number of suspected e-commerce fraud attempts from Canada on any given day during the holiday period compared to the rest of 2022 (Jan. 1, 2022 to Nov. 23, 2022). 

E-commerce fraud in Canada at the start of the holiday shopping season follows a global trend: TransUnion’s analysis found 15% of all global e-commerce transactions in the same holiday period were potentially fraudulent.[1] Globally, there was an 82% increase in the average number of suspected global digital fraud attempts in retail on any given day during the holiday period compared to the rest of the year.

The study also revealed the share of suspected digital fraud attempts for each day in the holiday shopping period for transactions originating from Canada and globally. 

Breakdown of Risky Transactions During Holiday Period

DayTransactions in CanadaGlobally
Thursday, Nov. 24th17%14%
Friday, Nov. 25th23%25%
Saturday, Nov. 26th21%21%
Sunday, Nov. 27th18%18%
Monday, Nov. 28th21%22%

“Fraudulent activity tends to be particularly prevalent in online retail during the holiday shopping season,” said Patrick Boudreau, head of identity management and fraud solutions at TransUnion Canada. “Despite the fact that larger numbers of consumers are returning to in-person shopping in the post-pandemic era, many still prefer online retail for holiday shopping. It’s critical for online retailers to ensure consumer security and privacy protections—a consumer priority—in a way that ensures a seamless shopping experience and minimizes unnecessary friction.”

TransUnion’s analysis also revealed that promotion abuse and account takeover were the leading fraud attempt types during the holiday shopping season globally.

“Online retailers must equip themselves with the proper tools to detect fraud at the first warning sign without inhibiting the consumer journey,” said Patrick Boudreau, head of identity management and fraud solutions at TransUnion Canada. “It’s more important than ever for online retailers to implement holistic fraud solutions to verify customer identity and authenticity at the very beginning of a transaction without resulting in false positives that may cost them legitimate transactions.”

Canadian consumers express concern this holiday season

The increase of suspected digital fraud during the traditional busiest days of the holiday shopping season occurred as consumers express concern about being victimized. TransUnion’s Canada Q3 2022 Consumer Pulse study found that 77% of Canadian consumers are concerned with being victimized by online fraud this holiday season.

TransUnion monitors digital fraud attempts reported by businesses in varied industries such as gambling, gaming, financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail, and travel and leisure, among others. The conclusions are based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in TransUnion’s flagship identity proofing, risk-based authentication and fraud analytics solution suite – TruValidate™.

To find out how this data varies by select countries, check out TransUnion’s holiday fraud trends infographic.

About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)

TransUnion is a global information and insights company that makes trust possible in the modern economy. We do this by providing an actionable picture of each person so they can be reliably represented in the marketplace. As a result, businesses and consumers can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good®. TransUnion provides solutions that help create economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for hundreds of millions of people in more than 30 countries. Our customers in Canada comprise some of the nation’s largest banks and card issuers, and TransUnion is a major credit reporting, fraud, and analytics solutions provider across the finance, retail, telecommunications, utilities, government and insurance sectors.

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[1] The percent of suspected digital fraud attempts are those that TruValidate customers either denied or reviewed due to fraudulent indicators compared to all transactions it assessed for fraud.