Payment fraud attacks, spikes and patterns

Fraud attacks pose a significant financial risk to businesses. Understanding and detecting them is key to preventing significant losses.

Hi, name is Duncan Malcolm. I convene First Six Last Four to help us understand more about fraud threats and the things that we can do to reduce our risk in the face of highly motivated adversaries.

In this post I will explore some of the techniques to detect and understand payment fraud attacks.

We will cover:

  • Introduction
  • Fraud attack detection
  • Physical vs non-physical products
  • Common fraud patterns
    • Think like your adversary
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  • Technology failures
  • The right way to think payment risk


A fraud attack is defined as an elevated period of fraud losses that are higher than usual. Fraud attacks will typically last anything from a few minutes to a few days.

The main challenge with payment fraud is that you cannot be sure that a transaction will lead to a chargeback for anything from 15 to 365 days with the average being around 30 days.

As a result, consider that an increased amount of fraud happening today may not be noticed for some time.

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