35% of transactions from Indonesia are fraudulent, and fraud rates exceed 10% in the five riskiest nations.

No country will clamor to claim such distinction, but five nations stand out as the most likely in percentage terms to produce fraudulent online transactions: Indonesia, Venezuela, South Africa, Brazil and Romania. That’s according to a new report that analyzed more than a million online transactions in 2014 to determine the rankings for countries other than the United States. The aim of the report was to advise U.S. e-retailers on which foreign countries pose the highest risk for attempted fraud.

In Indonesia, about 35% of e-commerce transactions are fraudulent; for Venezuela it’s 33%; South Africa’s rate is 25%; Brazil’s rate is 11%; and Romania’s is 10%, according to fraud prevention technology provider Forter, which compiled the report. On the flip side, the report ranks Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Norway and Switzerland as the least-fraudulent countries.

In the U.S., the average e-commerce fraud rate is less than 1%, according to CyberSource Corp.

Forter analyzed online transactions over the course of 2014, including the sale of consumer goods, sales on online marketplaces, travel and other purchases, but excluding adult entertainment, says Noam Inbar, Forter’s vice president of business development.

“U.S. retailers have a perception that everything outside the U.S. is very fraudulent, and they will automatically blacklist most countries outside the U.S. and want to focus on domestic sales,” she says. The report aims to give retailers in the United States a “true picture of what’s going on outside the U.S.”  While it’s useful to understand which countries produce the fewest fraudulent transactions, she encourages e-retailers not dismiss consumers from nations with higher fraud rates. “Even though there are problems in those markets, there are ways to deal with them,” Inbar says.


“Things are changing so fast,” she adds. “New fraudsters are entering the scene these days, and we want retailers to take this information and combine it with their tools to make better decisions to balance their business goals and fraud management.”

The study also examined mobile transactions and discovered that fraud rates are twice as high for transactions made with Android devices than the iPhones and iPads that use Apple Inc.’s iOS. Criminals using mobile devices tend to attack via Android because the systems are more open and therefore easier to manipulate, according to Forter.

Other findings include continent fraud trends:

  • Europe’s fraud rate is slightly lower than the global average.
  • Asia’s fraud rate is similar to the global average.
  • Africa’s fraud rate is as much as 10 times higher than the global average.
  • South America has a fraud rate three times higher than the world average.

Forter says it does not include the actual average rate because the average is calculated and compared on a per-industry basis, and the average fraud rate varies significantly between different industries.