Modern Retail

2021 Data Reveals the Damaging Financial Cost to Consumer Lifestyles

Online fraud

The past few years have been tough for the retail business. Outside of the COVID-19 restrictions, online fraud has devastated many businesses. Automated domain monitoring is a useful tool that businesses should look into to combat fraudulent behaviour. The cost of non-action could be high both financially and in terms of brand image.

The good news is that businesses have tools to combat fraud. Things such as domain monitoring can help reduce the price tag of fraud. This price tag is currently increasing and it’s estimated online fraud costs the UK economy £137,000,000,000 in 2021. With that amount of money annually, you could:

  • Gift a monthly Netflix subscription to 22,871,452,420 people
  • Buy 49,818,181,818 cups of coffee
  • See 20,296,296,296 movies at the cinema
  • Travel around the world on a plane 27,400,000 times

It’s clear the cost of online fraud is devastating. The figures mean a lot for retail businesses. Losing that much money to fraud could make or break a small business. At a time when most businesses are already struggling, online fraud is not something you want to add to your troubles.

Losing consumer spending isn’t just about the direct financial loss. Consumers can start avoiding businesses that have been impacted by fraud. It can do a lot to damage brand reputation. Consumers will stay away from businesses that don’t have a good online reputation in terms of safety.

But tools like automated domain monitoring can ensure your business is taking the right steps to combat online fraud. It can help immensely in terms of staying safe and showing consumers they can trust your business.

Online fraud is on the rise

Online fraud is not only costing a lot of money but it is also increasing. The latest figures are part of an emerging trend. Online fraud was steadily climbing before the coronavirus pandemic but the pandemic speeded the growth further. This hike is explained by the changing consumer behaviour.

According to UNCTAD’s consumer research, the pandemic drove many people to shop online. Over half of the respondents said they now shop online more frequently. Online shopping is also on the rise in almost all consumer categories from clothing to food. This heightened online activity has attracted fraudsters as well. 

INTERPOL’s assessment of cybercrime during the early months of the pandemic showed alarming levels of fraudulent activity. According to their data, between January and April 2020 there were:

  • Around 907,000 spam messages 
  • 737 incidents related to malware
  • 48,000 malicious URLs

The signs are clear. Online fraud is increasing and it could alter consumer behaviour. Customers don’t want their hard-earned money wasted. If they notice certain sites are targeted, they might start shopping elsewhere. Businesses need to start taking steps to ensure they are protecting themselves and their customers. 

Domain monitoring to combat online fraud

One of the ways fraudsters target unsuspecting consumers is through typosquatting. It refers to duplicating legitimate websites to get people to hand in personal information or to install malware. These copycat websites look the same as the original. 

It can be hard to spot they are fake. People can use their actual login information or credit card information on these sites. Fraudsters then get this information which they can use or sell forward on the dark web. 

These types of sites can get access to a lot of sensitive information. You can risk losing login credentials, credit card details, home addresses as well as sensitive business information. 

Domain monitoring can prove vital for dealing with things like typosquatting. These automated monitoring tools continuously scout the dark web. They do this safely, ensuring you don’t end up clicking malicious links or infecting your business infrastructure with malware.

As they examine the dark corners, they alert your business for any websites or content mimicking your website. When they discover fraudulent content, they alert you and help you take preventative action. You can alert the authorities and take down these sites. 

Your business can:

  • Protect consumers from fraudulent sites
  • Maintain good brand image
  • Avoid expensive fines

It is important to use the full toolkit when combatting cybercrime. Fraudsters are getting smarter. The only way to stay ahead is by strengthening your security.

Maintaining brand reputation 

Online fraud is not going anywhere. As many businesses continue to digitalise their operations, fraudulent behaviour will keep increasing. Businesses need to take steps to keep their business information safe. 

Automated domain monitoring can help prevent crime as well as ensure you act quickly if your business is targeted. 

Ultimately, these tools help control the cost of fraud. They can guarantee the money consumers use is spent on actual business services and not wasted. Your business will also keep its brand reputation in check. You can show your customers that you take security seriously.

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