Fraud attempts in communities and gaming industries grew by over 300% and 200% year-on-year.

Digital fraudsters in Hong Kong are now eyeing communities that include online dating platforms and forums, as well as the gaming industries from logistics previously.

The rate of suspected digital fraud attempts rose 16.5% year-on-year (YoY) globally in the second quarter (Q2) of the year.

Particularly, in Hong Kong, suspected digital fraud attempts increased at a much higher rate of 62.4% during the same time period.

Communities and gaming were the industries with the largest suspected digital fraud attempt rate increase for transactions originating from Hong Kong, rising 333.3% and 205.6% from Q2 2020 to Q2 2021, respectively.

“It is quite common for fraudsters to shift their focus every few months from one industry to another,” Jerry Ying, TransUnion APAC’s chief products officer, said.

“Fraudsters tend to seek out industries that may be seeing an immense growth in transactions.”

He linked this to the gradual recovery in the economy that led to growth in the said industries.

“The immense growth in these frauds also can be attributed to the shifts in the focus of fraudsters as these growing markets become a larger target.”

Between March 2019 to March 2020 and March 2020 to March 2021, the online fraud attempt rate rose to 199.4%. This dropped to 3.5% between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021.

Other industries such as the travel and leisure sector and gambling sector also saw YoY increases of 165.9% and 60.4%, respectively, in suspected digital fraud attempts.