Fraudsters Have Wish Lists, Too


Have you ever wondered about what types of purchases fraudsters like to make using other peoples’ credit cards? Well, wonder no more!

According to a sampling of nearly 3 million attempted fraudulent transactions over a six-month period by the sales fraud detection company Forter, credit card thieves tend to make purchases across a variety of verticals with their ill-gotten booty. They include functional purchases as well as high-end buys with high resale value. The purchases break down into six general categories:

Food & Fun
Red Bull
Luxury hotel rooms

Luxury goods
Rolex watch
Louis Vuitton handbag
Diamond engagement ring

MacBook Air®
Device case

Digital products
Best Buy gift cards
iTunes® vouchers
World of Warcraft gold


Business services
Hosting services
Remote hosting
Logo/website design

Search engine optimization
Coupons for Facebook ads
Phone-verified accounts


The Forter blog analyzed the popularity of the various purchases and concluded that they provide three main things that fraudsters are seeking:

  • 1. Immediate gratification paid for by someone else
  • 2. Easy-to-resell goods (both trendy and classic choices)
  • 3. Items and services that fraudster can use to commit more crimes

“The high-ticket goods are certainly the most highly desirable as well as luxury items, and I would follow that with digital goods,” Forter CMO Bill Zielke told Internet Retailer. “Those are the items that retailers have to pay primary attention to. Those are the ones that have a bigger impact.”

All retailers — traditional POS and e-commerce — need to be aware of these trends and take steps to avoid becoming a victim, particularly if they deal in any of the items or services listed. At TransFirst®, we believe that security is the foundation of all electronic transaction processing, and we help protect our merchants by encouraging that they achieve and maintain PCI compliance to help reduce their risk of experiencing a data breach that results in fraudulent transactions.

Additionally, TransFirst offers a Data Breach Security Program that meets expenses from an actual or suspected data breach regardless of the business’s PCI compliance status as long as the owner is not involved in the breach.

Give yourself the peace of mind and financial protection you need in the event of a data breach. Talk to a TransFirst representative today about how we can help protect you, your business and your customers from fraudsters looking to fulfill their wish lists.


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federally-registered U.S. service marks of Total System Services, Inc. TransFirst is a registered ISO/MSP of: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA; Synovus Bank, Columbus, GA; and Deutsche Bank, New York, NY; for Visa® and MasterCard® transactions only. TSYS Merchant Solutions is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA and Synovus Bank, Columbus, GA.