Personal Finance

Best and worst countries at preventing e-commerce fraud

A look at the worst and the best

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Online shopping is borderless, but it matters where your online retailer is based if you want to avoid fraud.

Forter, which makes fraud prevention software, found that countries where e-commerce fraud is more likely tend to have poor economies but accessible Internet infrastructure. They are also countries where the chances of being pursued by law enforcement and being extradited are lower, said Noam Inbar, vice of business development at Forter.

"Weak economic conditions drive more people to crime and decent Internet infrastructure makes online fraud easier," Inbar said.

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The company analyzed more than 1 million e-commerce transactions among a variety of online retailers in consumer goods, luxury, travel and financial services. Then it calculated the e-commerce fraud rates for each country based on complaints from merchants and consumers, looking at fraud committed by retailers and by consumers.

Forter's analysis also found that fraud rates of transactions using smart phones with Google's Android operating system were twice as high those using Apple's iPhones. The openness of Android systems makes them a bigger target for fraudsters, Inbar said.

The United States did not make Forter's list of countries best at preventing e-commerce fraud, even though the U.S. had e-commerce fraud rates below the global average. Fraud rates by state varied greatly with North Dakota having a fraud rate of virtually zero while Forter found more than 2 percent of the e-commerce transactions in West Virginia to be fraudulent last year.

Here are the five worst—and the five best—countries at preventing e-commerce fraud, according to Forter.

By Tom Anderson.
Posted 14 May 2015

Denmark, best country for e-commerce

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Denmark came out on top of Forter's list for having the lowest percentage of fraudulent e-commerce transactions last year and had the highest score from Transparency International in 2014 based on its reputation for fighting corruption among independent fraud analysts.

New Zealand, 2nd-best country for e-commerce

Queenstown, New Zealand
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New Zealand, which had second-highest score from Transparency International for its anti-corruption reputation, also came in second in Forter's analysis for its low e-commerce fraud rates.

Finland, 3rd-best country for e-commerce

A scenic view in Helsinki, Finland.
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Noam Inbar, vice of business development at Forter, notes that Finland and the other countries ranked high on its list of least fraudulent countries also received top scores on Transparency International's 2014 corruption perception index.

Norway, 4th-best country for e-commerce

Nidelva river and Solsiden area in Trondheim, Norway
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One of three Nordic countries to appear on Forter's list of least fraudulent countries because of its super-low fraud rates.

Switzerland, 5th-best country for e-commerce

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A country known for its discretion and precision, Switzerland ranked fifth on Forter's list of least fraudulent countries. "Culture and social environment matter," said Noam Inbar, vice president of business development at Forter.

Romania, 5th-worst country for e-commerce

Bucharest, Romania
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Even though Europe had a slightly lower fraud rate than the global average, Romania made the top 5 list of most fraudulent countries as Forter found 10 percent of e-commerce transactions there were bogus.

Brazil, 4th-worst country for e-commerce

Sao Paulo skyline
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Forter found 11 percent of Brazil's e-commerce transactions across all sectors where fraudulent.

South Africa, 3rd-worst country for e-commerce

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A quarter of the e-commerce transactions in South Africa studied by Forter were found to be fraudulent. The continent of Africa had a fraud rate 10 times higher than the world average.

Venezuela, 2nd-worst country for e-commerce

Caracas, Venezuela skyline
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South America's e-commerce fraud rate was three times higher than the world average fraud rate. Venezuela was the worst offender on the continent with one-third of the transactions studied being fraudulent.

Indonesia, worst country for e-commerce

Jakarta, Indonesia
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Forter found that 35 percent of the e-commerce transactions it studied in Indonesia were fraudulent, even though Asia as a continent had fraud rates similar to the world average.