The Geography of Fraud

Anyone managing fraud prevention within a UK travel company knows that a good indicator the transaction is high risk is a booking originating from overseas.

We have previously advised that all travel companies should be capturing the IP addresses, email addresses, postal addresses and the Bank Identification Numbers (BIN) on transactions as these can be used to identify whether a booking is being made fraudulently or not. The threat presented by bookings originating outside of the UK is increasing year-on-year.

Analysis of BIN numbers, IP address, email address and postal address data present in the fraud data
we collected for the case study shows that the biggest threat are bookings originating from the UK itself
followed by South Africa, USA, France and Brazil.

The UK payment card schemes lead the World in methods of ensuring that payments are made safely. Chip and Pin, CV2, AVS checks, and monitoring suspicious transactions have helped the UK significantly reduce payment fraud. Around the World payment schemes are adopting some of the methods developed in the UK to reduce fraud.

The internet offers fraudsters the opportunity to easily target companies from locations all over the World. There is less risk of police action against them when they are based in a different country to the location of the crime and there is often a time lag in detecting that a fraud has occurred due to the remoteness of the perpetrator.

Finally because card schemes, such as Visa and MasterCard, have some of their most advanced fraud prevention and screening technologies in the UK and Europe, it is common for fraudsters to make use of overseas cards (outside of Europe) as it’s easier to commit a fraud on such cards where controls are likely to be fewer.