June 2, 2021

Feedzai’s Financial Crime Report: Fraud rises by 159% Year on Year

Global study shows fraudsters are cashing in on lifted lockdown restrictions
Combining all banking fraud – internet, telephone, and branch – attacks grew 159% in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020
93% of all fraud attempts are carried out online
Fraud rates on Android devices are significantly higher than iOS, despite having only half the transaction volume of iOS
California in the US and Berkshire in the UK experienced the highest regional fraud rates of the two countries
Account takeover (ATO) scams hold the top spot for most prevalent type of fraud

San Mateo, California, London, UK –  June 2, 2021 – Feedzai, the world’s leading cloud-based financial crime management platform, has announced its Quarterly Financial Crime Report , an analysis of over 12 billion global banking transactions from January – March 2021. The report identifies trends in spending and in fraud attempts to show that this past quarter, as consumer activities increased, fraudsters attempted to hide their fraudulent transactions in legitimate banking. In fact, combining all banking fraud  – internet, telephone, and branch – attacks grew a whopping 159% in Q1 2021 compared to Q4 2020.

Online banking made up 96% of all banking transactions and it accounted for 93% of all fraud attempts in Q1 2021. This leaves in-branch and telephone banking to make up the remaining 4%. And while the numbers are smaller, in-branch banking did increase by 442% this quarter compared with the last as a result of eased lockdown restrictions as businesses begin to open for trade. In addition, telephone scammers upped their efforts and the report shows a 728% increase in telephone banking fraud.

While many shoppers choose to make purchases from the comfort of their mobile phones, the report also found that Android users are more likely to experience fraud. Of the total volume of fraudulent transactions, 34% were conducted on iOS, and nearly double (66%) were attributed to Android. Despite a disproportionately higher total transaction volume on iOS, Android devices still made up for two thirds of fraud attempts. The report notes that two possible causes for this are Android’s open approach to support third-party app stores, which is more conducive for mobile malware, along with Apple’s penchant for controlling apps on the App store.

Fraud by Numbers – Top 5 Banking Scams

Account Takeover (ATO) (42%) –  Fraudsters gain access to account credentials and take over the account, which often includes changing the password and address.
Account Opening Identity Theft (23%) – Fraudsters open accounts using stolen identities. Victims often become aware of this type of scam when debt collectors come calling.
Impersonation Scams (21%) – Fraudsters pretend to be a government official or some type of authority figure to gain access to an account or trick victims.
Purchase Scams (15%) – In purchase scams, buyers pay for items online that never arrive.
Phishing (7%) – Typically, scammers use emails that trick account holders into revealing personal information.

Fraud by Region

U.S. consumers are beginning to spend more money in other countries and other states, indicating an increase in travel as pandemic restrictions loosened. Combining the lift in travel with the trend in online attacks may shed light on why fraud hit some states harder than others, with a mix of top travel destinations and the locations of large e-commerce headquarters on the list.

The top five states with the highest rates of fraud were:

New York

Meanwhile, in the UK, the counties that experienced the most fraud were:


“As restrictions start to lift in many parts of the world, consumers have been spending more, which gives cybercriminals an expanded playing field,” said Jaime Ferreira, Senior Director of Global Data Science at Feedzai. “Financial institutions need to make sure they’re not only ready for a sizable increase in transaction volume, but also prepared and able to handle the uptick in fraud attempts that goes with it. The Feedzai Financial Crime Report can help shed some light on where financial institutions can focus these efforts to keep their customers transacting safely.”

Access Feedzai’s Quarterly Financial Crime Report to learn more about the latest fraud and consumer trends.


About Feedzai:
Feedzai is the world’s first RiskOps platform, protecting people and payments with a comprehensive suite of AI-based solutions designed to stop fraud and financial crime. Feedzai is trusted by leading financial institutions to manage critical risk and compliance processes, safeguarding trillions of dollars of transactions while improving the customer experience and protecting the privacy of everyday users. For more information, visit feedzai.com.

Media Contacts:
Feedzai [email protected]