Criminals increasingly are turning to machine learning and bots
to commit online fraud, which poses a special challenge in industries selling high-ticket goods, such as the travel industry.
The Canadian travel agency RedTag.ca sees a surge of all types of fraud attempts during the holiday season when travel volume surges, said Roberto Gennaro, chief digital officer at RedTag.ca.
“Fraud attempts escalate right before the holidays for flights within a few days of the bookings, with fraudsters using stolen cards from travelers,” Gennaro said.
One of the insidious side effects of criminals deploying bots is that they often fraudulently reserve blocks of seats on flights, causing the price of the remaining unsold seats to increase dramatically, throwing off sales, he said.
“Threats from bots are always changing, and as they get better at mimicking human behavior while browsing our travel sites, they make it look like they’re legitimately shopping by adding items to their cart and proceeding to a checkout page,” Gennaro said.
RedTag.ca has been able to thwart many bot attacks this year with help from Distil Networks, which weeds out bad bots from humans before the checkout process begins, he said.