SEON: The impact of economic downturn on the threat of fraud

Off the back of a period that has seen significant economic turbulence and with a recession looming, SEON has revealed, in its latest report, that there is a possibility that ‘intense financial pressure during the economic crisis led to an increase in fraud’.

The report places a closer look at how history may well repeat itself, with the financial crisis between 2007-2009 also leading to a spike in the threat of fraud. 

Furthermore, SEON highlights how the threat has evolved since then as the payment sector has become increasingly digitised – something the firm outlined has elevated the vulnerability of consumers. 

PJ Rohall, Head of Fraud Strategy & Education at SEON, commented: “It’s important to recognize that multiple factors drive fraud attacks, therefore elements outside a global recession can have an impact. However, given the connection between a rise in online fraud and periods of economic downturn, we wanted to investigate how a recession can impact digital crime in the US and UK.”

The report underlined that through digital footprint analysis, velocity checks and IP analysis, the firm can play a key role in slowing fraud threats, at a time when The Internet Crime Complaints Center received in excess of twice as many complaints in 2021 compared to the last recession in 2009, with total monetary losses exceeding 7.5 times those of 2009. 

As the economic crisis worsens and the cost of energy increases the pivotal nature of ensuring fraud protection is heightened for small businesses. Furthermore, the report detailed that in order to reduce costs fraud fighting strategies are being impacted, with essential teams being downsized. 

Expert Analysis: The report from SEON comes at a crucial time, when firms should be elevating their focus on combating fraud and minimising risk. It underlines just how much the threat has adapted since the last period of rapid economic downturn, as the impact of the pandemic lingers.