The growing trend of malicious bot activity
More purchases will likely be made online this holiday season as people stay away from physical shops due to the pandemic. That trend is expected to fuel a further increase in these bot-driven types of fraud.
There has been an 820% increase in digital gift card fraud since March 2020
, according to cyber security firm PerimeterX. And experts predict gift card fraud will be worth $600 billion by 2026, up from $381 billion in 2020.
When you consider a post-holiday spending report by Blackhawk Network – which found that close to 20% of US holiday gift card sales in 2019 came from digital gift cards
– you can see the attraction for cybercriminals.
In addition, this type of fraud doesn’t require bank accounts or traceable fund transfers. And it’s hard to detect, due to the botnets being highly distributed and using multiple IP addresses and different devices. The large number of IP addresses also helps criminals bypass bot protection methods, such as CAPTCHA.