Half of Brazilian consumers have already been a victim of e-commerce fraud

E-commerce retreated for the first time in world history, dragged down by high inflation. Nevertheless, in Brazil, e-commerce grew by BRL 118.6 billion in the first half of 2022, according to Nielsen’s Webshoppers report.

But who is this online retail consumer? To understand the profile and relationship with transactions and purchases, including questions about security perception and fraud, Unico, a pioneer and leader in digital identity in Brazil, conducted a survey during the month of September, in the national territory, taking into account people over 18 years old who shop online at least once every two months, last time 30 days or less ago.

The Southeast concentrates the largest number of these consumers, with 41%, followed by the Northeast and South, with 21%, and the North and Midwest, with 17%. Most of these people are between 18 and 34 years old (62%) and belong to class A and B (59%).

Women make up 53% and they make the most purchases on mobile phones (80%), as well as generation Z (77%), compared to the national average of respondents (70%).

Of those surveyed, 58% shop online at least twice a month, and the percentage rises to 63% in classes A and B. The black population (brown and black) prefers to shop in the store’s own apps, with 64% responding.

“Brazilians have adopted online shopping in their daily lives, and the pandemic has certainly intensified the digital environment. Although it is not so visible, technologies are the main protagonists in this growth, ensuring greater agility, protection, reduction of bureaucracy and a better user experience”, comments Marcelo Zanelatto, director of Unica.

the spirit of deception

At the beginning of the year, Serasa announced that 2021 was a record year for e-commerce fraud attempts, with an increase of almost 17%, reaching four million. By September 2022, Unico has identified more than 3.3 million attempts, indicating that we will have another increase this year.

Of the fraud attempts, 55% occur in everyday purchases, but 22% focus on Black Friday. Memorial dates, such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, appear in third place, with 20%, followed by Christmas with 16% of fraudulent activities.

Half of the respondents stated that they had already been a victim of some kind of e-commerce fraud, most of them in the logistics phase, i.e. when picking up the product. But identity fraud is also common:

• 45% – Never received a purchase
• 38% – Received something different from the order
• 25% – Need to change or replace and can no longer get in touch
• 23% – suffered bank data theft / card cloning
• 15% – Stolen/hacked access credentials

“Research showed that almost half of people never received a purchase. This can happen through fake websites, which even serve to steal consumer information. But this also happens through the creation of orange shops in markets, with documentation that does not exist. From this aspect, authentication using facial biometrics is one of the fastest and most effective ways to combat this type of action,” concludes Zanelatto.


Low price, free and fast shipping are still the leaders when it comes to the decision to buy through e-commerce or not. Uncertainty appears among respondents in three out of eight reasons for abandoning the cart, and 26% of them feel greater fear at the time of payment.

Although 54% of respondents prefer to manually register their data and see a lower degree of security in that process, 9 out of 10 respondents would be willing to use facial biometrics when registering in e-commerce to have more security. Technology is also highlighted by 84% of people as the biggest guarantee of data privacy at the time of application. For 61% of respondents who were victims of fraud, facial biometrics is already a reality when it comes to security.

“It is necessary to make facial biometrics more present in society, as banks have done through educational campaigns to prevent fraud. Unico has been developing and improving biometric facial authentication solutions for at least six years. Most major retailers already use our ecosystem of solutions to facilitate the registration process, simplify actions such as logins and transactions on digital platforms (retail websites or apps, banks, etc.) and to reduce identity theft and e-commerce fraud attempts. All through efficient technology that guarantees that you really are who you say you are,” concludes Marcelo Zanelatto, director of Unico.

Image: Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *