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Fun With Frauds: case sensitivity in an e-commerce fraud

Fun With Frauds #1 : case sensitivity in an e-commerce fraud

Fun facts about e-commerce frauds

The title “Fun With Frauds” refers to a running gag in the american sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” where Sheldon Cooper films himself trying to present a chronicle on his Youtube channel: “Fun With Flags”. His show’s trading details he considers funny about a subject that is not really: flags. In the same spirit, I use this chronicle to try to answer the “funny” questions about frauds. These observations and analyzes are based on discussions with our customers using our solution NexuWeb E-commerce Anti-Fraud.

Case sensitivity of E-commerce frauds?

A customer felt that the details of fraudulent orders had less variation between upper and lower case as legitimate orders. The question amused me and I wanted to investigate to see if there was a real correlation between the case sensitivity and fraud and what could be the reasons?

Methodology to measure the case sensitivity of an e-commerce fraud

All of the details of each order were concatenated to measure the number of variations of case sensitivity. The number of changes has to be incremented each time a string of uppercase and lowercase occurs and vice versa.

Here is a simplified example:

  • lavrenti rogoff; appt. 2204; 42, square robert schuman; 14000 CAEN : 1 variation
  • Lavrenti Rogoff; Appt. 2204; 42, square Robert Schuman; 14000 Caen : 11 variations

E-commerce frauds less case sensitive

Indeed, e-commerce frauds have less variation between upper and lower compared to the legitimate orders:

  • legitimate orders :
    • Average number of variations by order : 6.64
    • Percentage of orders with no case sensitivity variation : 25%
  • E-commerce frauds :
    • Average number of variations by order : 5.30
    • Percentage of orders with no case sensitivity variation : 38%

Thus, these measures allow us to conclude :

  • A legitimate order contains about 25% of extra case sensitivity variations compare to a e-commerce fraud.
  • The rate of fraud without variation is 50% higher than the rate of legitimate orders without variation.

Quantity is prefered to quality for e-commerce frauds

Case sensitivity is a detail that never fails: e-commerce frauds are performed with less attention than the legitimate orders.

One explanation is that the act of purchase on e-commerce is an act of strong commitment to the legitimate customer. A regular customer would be more focused and attentive on the correct spelling of his name, address and so on case sensitivity so that its order arrives safely. Conversely, a fraudster has no such commitment during the order process. Indeed, he has no financial commitment and he is used to the redundancy of the order process.

A fraudster would therefore tend to spend less time in the checkout to minimize his personal investment (time) and maximize return on investment. This trivial detail in the customer behavior, which is the choice of case sensitivity, can help us to determine behavioral patterns that are not so anectodic.

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