Theft of customer accounts in Brazilian e-commerce surpasses global average, study says


The number of Brazilian e-commerce companies that reported having suffered a problem because of customer account theft exceeded the worldwide survey average conducted by Visa.

According to a survey of 2,800 fraud management professionals from companies and organizations in the durable goods, tourism, services, gastronomy and consumer electronics sectors, 42% said they dealt with this type of case in Brazil.

The world average is 37%. However, the Brazilian index is still lower than the Latin American average, which is 47%.

Account theft occurs when the customer has their user and password obtained by a third party, who can make purchases without authorization.

‘Card test’

The most common fraud identified in Brazilian e-commerce is the so-called “card test,” when a criminal attempts to use someone else’s card data for the first time.

The coup consists of making low-value purchases to verify that the data is valid, and then consuming the limit on purchases of greater value.

According to Visa, 45% of the specialists heard in Brazil reported having detected this fraud, another number above the world average (36%).

Brazil also has a higher percentage of abusive use of coupons (40% against 33% in the world average) and fraud in loyalty programs (30% in Brazil against 23% in the world).

On the other hand, it was below average in cases such as phishing, pharming and whaling fraud (45% in the world, but 26% in Brazil), undue reimbursement request after purchases ( 33% in the world, but 28% in Brazil) and botnets (28% in the world, but 9% in Brazil), which are computers infected with malicious software to steal data and access devices.


According to experts, the numbers depend on what companies can detect in their environment. However, 65% of the Latin American professionals interviewed recognized difficulties in identifying frauds and responding to cases – which means that many may go unnoticed.

The purpose of the survey is to identify points that require caution and care – or opportunities for improvement – by tenants. The study highlights, for example, that analyzing order history is one of the most useful tools for detecting deviations in customer behavior and therefore problematic requests.

According to Visa’s study, Latin America is one of the markets that most cancels orders after a manual overhaul. Although 1 in 5 applications eventually undergo manual overhaul – which is less than the overall average of 1 in 4 – 20% of them are declined – nearly 7 times more than the overall 3% average.

The study can be downloaded here.


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