1 in 40 Black Friday transactions will be made by fraudulent “bots” this year

Black Friday’s best deals could be snapped up by fraudulent “bot” attacks as use of the technology skyrockets 235 per cent.

According to new research from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, one in 40 online transactions could be the result of a bot attack over this Black Friday weekend.

Last week, bots made headlines after they were used by scalper groups to buy up thousands of PS5 consoles before anyone shopping manually could get a chance.

This plunged the console’s launch into chaos, leaving one scalper group with around 3500 consoles while every major retailer in the UK completely sold out.

However, its not just major product launches that are threatened by this emerging technology, with bot attacks topping 9.3 million in the first half of 2020.

These bot attacks allow fraudsters to test stolen identity credentials on a mass scale, automatically testing and validating vast amounts of stolen data rapidly.

READ MORE: PS5 scalpers used “bots” to buy up more stock than most UK retailers

Furthermore, the cost of these attacks to UK merchants is 2.66 times the amount lost in the transaction, LexisNexis said.

“Fraudsters will make the most out of the increased levels of online shopping activity on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to slip under the radar, test and fabricate stolen identities,” LexisNexis director of fraud and identity Rebekah Moody said.

“The lead up to Christmas is the perfect time for fraudsters to strike, especially this year as consumers are forced to do more online as a result of government- imposed lockdown measures.”

Callsign’s chief commercial officer Amir Nooriala added: “Bots are growing in sophistication and are excellent at mimicking human behaviour to dupe retailers’ websites. This makes the challenge of identifying them even more difficult.

“For retailers to cope with the proliferation of bots, they need to invest in security and user experience now — ideally through a single vendor.

“Never before has providing a user-friendly and highly secure customer experience been more critical as they emerge from lockdown 2.0. Finding the balance between user experience and security will play a vital role in boosting brand loyalty as retailers ride out the next few months.”

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