These days, connectivity through technology seems to increase every day. Unfortunately, so does the criminal activity of fraudsters — especially online.

According to Michael Reitblat of Forter, reporting to PYMNT’s Karen Webster in a recent webinar and in a story on PYMNT.com, in the first quarter of this year — online fraud attacks on retailers has doubled — up 137 percent.

Reitblat said the huge increase in online fraud activity is significantly due to the United States  shift to EMV.

“You have to understand,” he said. “That these fraudsters are professionals … This is how they make their living … and they are flexible … We started to see the migration with more people joining the fraudster community, if you want to call it that, from mid-year last year,”

The numbers are pretty frightening. Reitblat said there was 34 fraud attacks for every 1,000 transactions in the first quarter. Speaking in dollars and cents, $10.80 of every $100 in digital sales is at risk.

“We see more fraud attempts happening, and we see them for larger dollar amounts,” Reitblat said.

Earlier this year, Aite Group LLC predicted card-no-present fraud will rise to $4 billion this year from $3.2 billion in 2015 and said that by 2020, that number will reach $7.2 billion.

According to a study conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research on behalf of Vesta Corporation, fraud costs merchants more than 7.5% of their annual revenue, false positives account for 2.8% of revenue lost and fraud and chargeback management steal between 14% and 23% of operational budgets.

If you think your business may be at risk, contact a National Merchants Association representative today and talk to them about all the ways to defend against both in-person and card-not-present fraud.

Call (866) 509-7199 or visit www.nationalmerchants.com for more information.