Belgian retail lost 6 billion euros in fraud last year

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Adyen annual survey: Belgian retail lost 6 billion euros in fraud last year

Belgian victims of payment fraud lost an average of 924 euros

Fraud in Belgian retail: Around half of Belgians have been scammed online at some point (51%). This is according to the annual survey by financial technology platform Adyen. One third of the Belgian population (36 %) were victims of payment and identity fraud in the last 12 months. On average, the victims lost around 924 euros. This is remarkably more than in 2022. Back then, Belgians lost an average of 218 euros. Payment fraud is a form of online scam where payment details are stolen to make illegal purchases.

Unsafe consumer

Due to the many dangers on the web, some Belgians (23 %) feel less safe online today than they did a decade ago. One consumer in five (22 %) therefore says they choose shops that take strong security measures. A small number (16 %) also approve of merchants using two-factor authentication to check identity. In turn, another minority (15%) want as few intermediate steps and headaches as possible when paying.

2 million euros loss

It is not only shoppers who suffer from online crime. Shops themselves often have to bear the heavy consequences of retail fraud as well. In 2023 alone, Belgian retail lost as much as 5.8 billion euros to fraud. The most affected industries were clothing (€1 billion), followed by luxury (€880 million) and sports & outdoor (€810 million). Globally, retail lost a hallucinatory 396 billion euros to scams.

As a merchant, you are often the favourite target of many cybercriminals. As such, almost half (47%) of retailers report that their shops have fallen prey to scams in the past year. On average, retailers lost no less than EUR 2 million in the process, with outliers even exceeding EUR 20 million (!).

AI to the rescue

Yet there is also light on the horizon. The emergence of new technologies, such as AI or machine learning, could turn the tide in the fight against online crime. Six retailers in 10 (60%), for example, now use AI to detect fraudulent transactions faster.

“Fraud remains a daily struggle for retailers. Unfortunately, the figures from the report do not lie,” said Julien Marlier, Country Manager at Adyen Benelux. “Online fraudsters are using increasingly cunning methods to evade the attention of shoppers and retailers. Today, fortunately, we have new technologies, such as machine learning, that are putting criminals to the test. At Adyen, we use advanced techniques to protect retailers and their customers. We block fraud, avoid conflicts and closely monitor the latest fraud trends.”

About the survey

The survey was conducted by Brands2Life among 1,000 Belgians and 500 Belgian retailers between 15 January 2024 and 1 February 2024. The Centre for Economic Business and Research (Cebr) calculated the financial amounts lost. The research centre based this, among other things, on data from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Published on RTBF, Canal Z and Soir Mag.