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Rio 2016 – Once the Games Are Over, It Doesn’t Mean Fraud Is Over

Rio 2016 Once the Games are over it doesnt mean fraud is over

The 2016 Rio Games are in full swing—with great story lines and unbelievable performances by incredible athletes, all being watched and admired by a million additional tourists in town (not to mention the many billions watching on TVs and computer screens). 

With all of these visitors, the Games offer a great revenue opportunity for retail and tourism industries in Brazil – but equally present a prime opportunity for fraudsters. Let’s take a trip in the ‘kinda way back time machine’ to the 2012 London Games—they saw a 50% increase in eCommerce fraud in the UK alongside a big increase in transaction volumes and values. With both customer and fraud behaviours so changeable during such a major event, it’s no surprise that for many merchants it can become even harder to distinguish genuine customers from fraudsters. Our Risk Analysts have been discussing their experiences, and sharing their global insights and advice with merchants to make sure they can safely take advantage of the opportunities the Games can offer. 

One of our many gold medal risk analysts, Nick Sarris, shares his thoughts and tips for merchants to manage their risk both during and after the Games.

With an additional 4000 terminals in use in Rio during the event, our team expects an influx of skimming devices, along with an increase in stolen cards. “One way or another,” says Nick, “a lot of cards will be compromised and then used for fraudulent activity. As soon as these cards are reported to us, we immediately add them to our positive and negative lists for our merchant customers across the world.”

“Moreover, we need to be very careful about profiling customer activity during this time as trends will change, both for fraudsters and genuine customers alike. Wherever we identify a trend, we incorporate this in to our fraud strategies for our merchants worldwide.”

Nick also warns of the longer term impact in the coming months - created by the sudden volume of compromised data available in the criminal marketplace at the completion of the Games. “We are talking to our customers about the impact this fraud is going to have on them after the Games are over, when fraud stemming from the Games is really going to go international. Related fraud will go cross-border and impact merchants globally…and they need to be aware and remain vigilant during this time. Just because the games are over, it doesn’t mean the fraud is over.”