Online Fraud A Major Concern This Holiday Season, TransUnion Study Shows

Fraud is increasingly a major concern for consumers. Retailers and brands should be thinking more about securing their websites, as 54% of consumers have stated concerns with being victimized by fraud this holiday season -- up 17% from last year -- in a report from TransUnion published Thursday.

The online report -- 2022 Consumer Holiday Shopping Report -- surveyed 3,000 adults and was fielded from August 11-18, 2022 in partnership with third-party research provider Dynata.

The report found that one-third of consumers are more concerned this year than last year, compared to only one in four consumers who felt that way in 2021.

Many consumers are looking for additional identity-verification systems, with 60% saying they have a positive view of technology -- especially during the checkout process with online retailers, up 20% since last year.

The report also finds that concerns over fraud are one of the top reasons that consumers would abandon an online cart during checkout. Compared with 2021, 72% more consumers selected “fraud concerns” while 40% more selected “not enough security on the site.”

“Increases in consumer fears about fraud and desires for security were a recurring theme in this year’s holiday shopping report,” stated Cecilia Seiden, vice president of TransUnion’s retail business. “We also found consumers increasingly expect online retailers to deliver safe and seamless shopping experiences as they have less patience for errors and inconvenience.”

For example, the highest-rated feature on a mobile device is two-factor authentication, which requires one-time security code via text. Some 80% of consumers believe it is moderately or very important.

Consumers, 53%, also think having their personal information pre-filled at checkout is ‘’very important,” but 18% more, compared with last year, said the feature is “not important.”

Consumers have less patience with negative shopping experiences this year, compared with last year. In every category of shopping experience, more consumers said they would abandon their cart if retailers did not meet expectations.

Reasons for abandoning a cart online? Some 72% cite concerns over fraud, while 40% said there was not enough security on the website, 26% noted shipping costs, 17% cited poor website experience, and 11% cited payment issues.

When asked for the minimum discount that makes something a great deal, the top answer was “30% off.” The consensus on the definition of “quick delivery” was two days.

Some 26% of consumers say they plan to spend more this year, despite economic concerns. That’s up 44% from last year -- and a record high since TransUnion first launched its Consumer Holiday Shopping Report in 2018. About 44% of Millennials and Gen Z consumers plan to spend more this year.

How much holiday shopping will consumers do online? Thirty-one percent of Baby Boomers said they would do minimal or no online shopping this year.

When asked where consumers plan to look for ideas about gifts, 49% of baby boomers said friends and family. In fact, the majority of consumers will look toward friends and family first. Only 20% of Millennials will look toward ads, followed by 16% of Baby Boomers, 15% of Millennials, and 12% of Gen Z.


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