Gift Card Fraud Trends

Consumers and brands are being hit by fraudsters in new ways and with increased frequency. Without the right platform to protect you, fraudsters can impact your business at anytime. Fraudsters have always favoured the anonymity of online transactions over in-person interactions to try to accomplish their goals. So more online transactions naturally means more attempts. 

Here is where it becomes extremely important to be able to manage fraud across multiple environments. Because fraud in-store is not the same as fraud online, having both capabilities becomes critical to managing fraud wherever it appears.   

The team at Blackhawk Network have put together a list of fraud trends and solutions to help your business be extra vigilant and stay ahead of the fraudsters.  

FRAUD TREND: Spikes in Certain Types of Fraud 

Throughout the course of the past year, the world have seen a large increase in both victim-assisted fraud and account takeover. Since social engineering is now part of the fraud landscape, fraudsters are targeting a larger pool of consumers. 



Our models and dynamic identification solution are built to flag orders that fall into these categories. To further protect consumers and our Blackhawk Network brand, we’re reaching out to confirm the legitimacy of certain transactions. 


FRAUD TREND: Rapid Change in Fraud Patterns  

Taking advantage of the COVID-19 global pandemic crisis and ever changing global landscape, fraudsters are quickly changing their methodologies to target the most vulnerable consumers. 



The flexible nature of the Blackhawk Network platform and our global team of experts allow us to rapidly identify these changing patterns and deploy countermeasures that stop fraudsters in their tracks, providing more assurance for our customers.  


FRAUD TREND: Shift in Going After Digital 

Consumers around the world have started to make a slight shift to digital gift cards over plastic. There has been a great uptake in the adoption of digital gift cards. In fact, a Multinational Research study conducted by Blackhawk Network into Global Payment trends found that in 2021, 43% of consumers globally have either just started using or have been more frequently using digital gift cards over the last year1. Gift cards have always been attractive to fraudsters because they can quickly be sold for cash. Now that more gift cards are digital, they’re even more attractive.  

In fact, any website that sells gift cards is a potential target. Along with the higher volumes, this trend impacts consumers who have never sent digital gift cards before. 



After building an expertise in digital over the last ten years, Blackhawk Network is more than prepared to manage this shift. We have created predictive fraud detection solutions, including techniques to identify and thwart online account takeover as digital gift cards have risen in popularity.  

Our security-minded approach helps minimise fraud and secure over 500 million transactions a year. We can proactively monitor our programs and develop intelligent solutions that can help protect you and your cardholders. 


About Blackhawk Network  

At Blackhawk Network, we want to help prepare our clients for the future. Since our clients are part of an ever-changing retail and digital landscape—with fraud possibilities growing exponentially every day—our solution is designed to grow with them. Our goal is to keep our clients one step ahead of whatever the future may bring, bringing happier customers and a healthier bottom line. 


  1. 2021 Connecting Through Payments, A Multinational Study Conducted by Blackhawk Network 

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