Increased risk of fraud when shopping on Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2023

Fraudsters like to exploit holidays and special occasions in Germany for their own purposes, and this also applies to Valentine’s Day. One reason for this is that the large number of last-minute gift purchases makes it easier for criminals to remain undetected in their fraudulent schemes. It is also much easier to resell their scammed goods at this time, as consumers are looking for quick deals before the occasion is over.

While obvious items such as perfume, flowers and jewellery are among the fraudsters’ favourites, Forter has also noticed a 2- to 3-fold increase in attacks on food delivery services in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. Couples often cook together on the holidays, and fraudsters may hope this makes it easier to hide in the crowd of legitimate transactions.

Safe shopping through transparency in transactions

To prepare for the rise in Valentine’s Day fraud, retailers in Germany need to ensure they have certainty about who is behind each transaction. The key is to distinguish legitimate customers from fraudsters without causing delays or unnecessary friction in the buying process, often caused by manual checks and rules-based fraud detection.

According to a survey conducted by Forter among more than 300 consumers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, a smooth payment process is the top priority for the majority of respondents (68%) when shopping online, ahead of factors such as low prices (62%) and the quality of the goods (54%). The prerequisite for a smooth and secure payment process is a fully automated approach that provides accurate real-time decisions about the customer’s trustworthiness and allows for as many legitimate buyers as possible while preventing fraud.

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