While increasing consumer spend is good news for e-commerce and mobile commerce merchants, this influx of legitimate shoppers makes it ever more likely that online criminals will follow the money and take advantage.

Fraudsters conceal their identity by mimicking the behavior of genuine consumers. They take a practical approach and target hot items, as this makes it more likely that stolen merchandise will be snapped up quickly by deceived shoppers.

That’s why goods like puffer jackets are high on fraudsters’ lists, displacing leather jackets that reigned supreme among criminals for three years running. In fact, criminals are attempting bulk purchases of six or seven jackets at a time. The jackets’ popularity makes resale easy. Similarly, popular gifts like perfumes and body washes are receiving extra criminal interest.

Jewelry's resale value makes it a major target for payments fraudsters, according to Forter's Michael Reitblat. Bloomberg News

Fraudsters also take advantage of the periodic spikes in payments that accompany holidays and other high volume periods to stock up on items that are popular all year round. They know it’s easier to steal successfully when manual review teams are overwhelmed by the volume of transactions they need to approve or decline and retailers just want orders fulfilled as quickly as possible.

Items like consumer electronics are under attack for this reason. MacBooks and Apple accessories are on Forter’s Fraudster Wish List for the third year running due to their high ROI and ease of resale.

Since these electronics are generally on the expensive end, buyers are more likely to be looking for a deal. Fraudsters sometimes even market their brand new stolen goods as “refurbished” to explain a bargain price and ensure the items are resold quickly. Fraudsters stock up on cellphone covers and accessories in hopes they can continue selling them in the year ahead.

Jewelry is also regularly a strong theme. Criminals like to target items made with precious metals and stones because of their value. This year, however, they’re exercising caution. In the past, fraudsters have tried to steal the priciest pieces they can find. Now they are shifting their focus toward more modest orders that generate a solid return on investment but aren’t so extravagant that they draw unwanted attention. This year the most targeted size for a precious stone is 0.8 carats.

Payment fraudsters are agile and adaptive, and they change the items they target depending on what will be easiest to steal and resell this season. Relying on last year’s data won’t protect your e-commerce business. Make sure you know which items are at risk this year and take steps to protect your payments platform and ensure criminals can’t get their hands on your hard-earned revenue.

Michael Reitblat

Michael Reitblat

Michael Reitblat is CEO of Forter.