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, 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