Loyalty programs are under attack. Loyalty programs are under attack. (Source: Shutterstock)

Payments fraud is getting more sophisticated, and criminals are increasingly turning away from high-volume, indiscriminate attacks, according to new research from e-commerce fraud-prevention company Forter.

The firm’s analysis of over $140 billion in e-commerce transactions found that loyalty fraud attacks — whereby criminals steal customer points and perks from merchant-related accounts — increased by a whopping 89% between the second quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019. Up 23% were schemes in which criminals made in-store returns of items they bought with stolen card information or posed as their victims in order to pick up those items in store.

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