As digital fraud attempts against consumers and businesses increase, cyber criminals have shifted their focus from financial services to the gaming, travel and leisure industries.

That comes from a report by the credit reporting company TransUnion, which analyzes the worldwide fraud in the second quarter of 2021.

The report shows that the overall rate of suspected online fraud attempts worldwide increased by 16.5% compared to the same period in 2020, and incidents in the US increased by a similar percentage, 17.1%.

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However, the gaming, travel, and leisure industries saw much faster growth, rising to 393% and 155.9% respectively worldwide last year. In the US, gaming increased 261.9% and travel and leisure increased 136.6%.

“What we’re seeing has been pretty consistent since the pandemic began,” said Melissa Gaddis, senior director of customer success, Global Fraud Solutions at TransUnion. “People who perpetuate fraud go where the money is and go where the opportunity is.”

It is common for online criminals to move from one industry to another, especially in sectors with higher transaction volumes, the report said.

In the second quarter of 2021, many countries emerged from the Covid lockdowns, which resulted in increased demand for travel and leisure activities.

“People are spending more, which gives scammers the opportunity to take advantage,” said Gaddis.

The gambling industry has also become an easy target as the market continues to grow.

In addition, 1 in 3 consumers said they had been the victim of attempted fraud related to Covid and 33% of victims said they had been a victim of the attempts.

It is important that people know that if they fall victim to a scam, they are not alone.

Melissa Gaddis

Senior Director of Customer Success, Global Fraud Solutions at TransUnion

Phishing was the # 1 problem, followed by stolen credit cards and fraudulent charges.

Consumers using mobile apps can protect themselves by entering passwords manually instead of relying on simple automatic sign-in, Gaddis said.

Multifactor authentication adds another layer of login security by allowing users to enter a different code that they receive via SMS or app.

“It is important that people know that if they fall victim to fraud, they are not alone,” said Gaddis. “It takes all of us to be really vigilant to help fight it.”

TransUnion monitors online fraud attempts reported by companies in a variety of industries, including gaming, financial services, travel and leisure, healthcare, insurance, retail and gambling.

The report bases its findings on billions of transactions from more than 40,000 websites and apps in TruValidate, the company’s identity verification, risk-based authentication, and fraud analysis software.