Sift's research finds fraud ring on ecommerce marketplaces and increase in content abuse

Thursday 9 July 2020 11:05 CET | News

Digital trust and safety company Sift has released its Q2 2020 Digital Trust & Safety Index, which focuses on content abuse and the fraud economy. 


Derived from Sift’s global network of 34,000 sites and apps, as well as a survey of over 1,000 consumers conducted in June 2020, the research details how content abuse is a critical part of the fraud supply chain, the interconnected ecosystem of fraud. The findings includes the discovery of a fraud ring based in Russia where fraudsters executed a card-testing scheme through fake listings on an ecommerce marketplace. A group of 15 fraudsters in Russia with identical IP addresses (a fraud ring), who Sift has named Bargain Bear, worked together to test dozens of credit cards and digital wallets by posting fraudulent content listings on an ecommerce marketplace. Using these fake listings, they sold items to each other in order to vet stolen data, ‘negotiating’ the costs of those items down so that the exchanges appeared more legitimate.

The Q2 Digital Trust & Safety Index demonstrates that content abuse has surged in 2020 in particular, with attempted scam and spam postings increasing 109% between January and May 2020 year-over-year. In addition, the report outlines how content abuse is not merely a standalone threat but a type of cybercriminal behaviour that acts as both a springboard for, and a bridge between, account takeover and payment fraud, contributing to what Sift calls the fraud supply chain.

The Digital Trust & Safety Index also reveals:

  • Content fraud decimates brand loyalty. 56% of consumers surveyed reported that if they discovered that their personal information had been exposed as a result of a scam on a website, they would stop using the site or service and choose a different provider.             
  • Amid pandemic, content scammers took aim at ticketing sites. The ticketing and events space was hit the hardest by attempted content abuse since the start of 2020, while also experiencing record drops in event volume (down 84% from April 2019).
  • Consumers are aware of fake content and its consequences. 67% of those surveyed believe they come across some type of fraudulent content or false information on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and 94% of them deem content to be suspicious based on conspicuous factors: pie-in-the-sky promises, multiple typos or grammatical errors, outlandish claims, or a lack of identity information from the person posting it.

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Keywords: Sift, fraud ring, ecommerce, Marketplaces, content abuse, fraud economy, fraud supply chain, card-testing scheme, IP addresses, fraudulent content, cybercriminal behaviour, scams
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime