“Black Friday could realise perfect storm of online refund fraud” warns NBCS

Far from setting the festive scene for a perfect winter wonderland, Black Friday (29 November), Cyber Monday (2 December) and the annual retail rush to bring in Christmas sales revenue could store up a perfect storm of online refund fraud for the New Year. That’s according to Claims Detect Online.

With struggling High Streets and industry figures from the IMRG (the UK’s industry association for online retail) predicting slower or flat online growth, retailers are already heavily discounting in a bid to reach their sales targets. It’s a trend that opens the door to the cold wind of fraudulent refunding from those unscrupulous individuals looking to take advantage of generous extended return periods over the festive period.

According to Claims Detect Online, the new name for Praesidio from the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS), ‘non-genuine customers’ could be the key beneficiaries of hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of unchallenged malicious refunds. The new forensic tool, which allows retailers to share data and profile serial claimants, could help ring in the changes in early 2020.

Harbouring the capability to monitor and analyse the audit trail of thousands of transactions across multiple retail businesses to spot suspicious claims and anomalies, Claims Detect Online is widening its search net by including a greatly reduced cost – £2,000 – in order to attract smaller retailers and complement the transaction data already provided by the NBCS’ larger brands to highlight the true extent of the problem.

Simran Baghara

Simran Baghara

Simran Baghara, fraud and legal services manager for Claims Detect Online, said: “As we set ourselves for the festive period, retailers are hoping for improved sales, but also holding their breath about what losses they could see in the New Year as a result of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas holiday. By sharing this data anonymously through our contributors, we can identify trends of genuine customers compared to those dishonest claimants taking advantage of the Christmas rush and the general melee of the festive period. This enables fraud teams to interrogate the data and challenge persistent offenders, while also enhancing the experience for genuine customers.”

Having already identified millions of pounds’ worth of potentially fraudulent claims through the simple dashboard reporting system, contributing retailers are able to identify persistent refund behaviour, as well as the modus operandi and claim matches from other users. Specific confidential data is anonymised to comply with General Data Protection Regulation requirements.

*For more information visit www.nationalbusinesscrimesolution.com

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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