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Under 25s most vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to LexisNexis® Risk Solutions Global Cybercrime Report

  • Generation Z are 84% more likely to be targeted by fraudsters than 25–35-year-olds
  • Over 75-year-olds typically lose almost twice (90%) as much money to fraud as other age groups
  • Bot attacks buck global trend and soar in the UK as fraudsters target e-commerce and media organisations’ logins

LONDON — Under 25s are the most likely target of a fraudulent cyber-attack, according to the latest Cybercrime Report from global data and analytics provider, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions. Surprisingly, they are 84% more likely to be the victim of fraud than 25–34-year-olds, despite being considered the first true ‘digital native’ group.

The biannual Global Cybercrime Report, which covers July to December 2020, analyses transaction data from the LexisNexis® Digital Identity Network®, a repository of global shared intelligence gained from billions of consumer interactions including logins, payments and new account applications. The reports findings are based on 24.6 billion transactions.

Over 75-year-olds are the second most vulnerable group to fraud, being around a quarter (28%) more likely to be the victim of an attack when compared to 25–35-year-olds. However, over 75s lose almost twice (90%) the amount of money as their under 75 counterparts when falling victim to a fraudulent cyber-attack. Analysis shows that the older the victim, the higher the average fraud loss.

Rebekah Moody, director of fraud and identity for LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, comments:

The higher level of risk to both the youngest and oldest age groups serves as a stark reminder of the need to protect all customers from the effects of fraud. While the younger age group are often perceived to be the most tech-savvy, their online footprint is vast and they are generally happy to share their data with a wide range of companies.

At the other end of the age spectrum, the older population – some of whom may have been pushed online due to the closure of physical stores and bank branches – can sometimes be less well versed at spotting the signs of a pitch-perfect scam, and then sadly stand to lose the most money from such an attack.

Businesses face the constant challenge of building a layered fraud defence to protect all customers from the full spectrum of fraud attacks. This can range from a fraudster armed with stolen identity credentials, or a cybercriminal disguised as a bank employee attempting to convince a customer to perform a fraudulent payment. This also shows why education, online messaging and awareness is such an important part of a holistic risk strategy.

UK trends

The UK market experienced a 16% growth in transaction volumes year-on-year reflecting the fact that consumers are doing more online, as well as the widely reported flux of new-to-digital users driven online by the pandemic.

Fraudsters took full advantage of the increased online activity, using it to attempt to mask a huge 44% increase in automated bot attacks designed to mass test stolen identity credentials. The Digital Identity Network revealed that fraudsters are mainly focussing these credential-testing bot attacks on media and e-commerce accounts, likely due to their lower barriers of entry, identifying legitimate illegally-obtained personal details and passwords that they can use to commit further fraud elsewhere.

Mobiles were shown overwhelmingly to be the device of choice for our UK consumers, with a massive 85% of all UK transactions coming from a mobile device, versus desktop.

Rebekah Moody continues:

Automated bot attacks offer fraudsters the opportunity to mass-test stolen credentials at scale, deploying armies of computers controlled by a general who can minimize his effort while maximizing his gains. Validated credentials offer the chance for the fraudster to make more money, either by selling the credentials for a higher price on the dark web, or using them in a more lucrative attack elsewhere.

“Building a multi-layered defence is key to protecting businesses, and their customers, from the sometimes devastating effects of fraud . Uniting the best digital identity intelligence with physical identity solutions and behavioural biometrics intelligence can be the gamechanger that organisations need to lessen the unpredictable and ever-changing tides of fraud. This when coupled with consumer education will allow us to stay on the front foot when fighting fraud.”

Global Cybercrime Report

About LexisNexis Risk Solutions

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data, sophisticated analytics platforms and technology solutions to provide insights that help businesses across multiple industries and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit LexisNexis Risk Solutions and RELX.

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