SecurityBioCatch Releases Comprehensive Analysis of Banking-Fraud and Financial-Crime Trends in Germany

In a report released today, BioCatch – the global leader in digital-fraud detection and financial-crime prevention powered by behavioral biometric intelligence – published findings showing Germany suffers less from the purchase scams tormenting the rest of the continent and more from typical impersonation and investment scams. Most often, these attacks come from native German-speakers residing in Eastern Europe, both making these scams appear more legitimate to German victims and contrasting with the English-speaking world, where most attacks originate in Asia. Fraud victims in Germany also received fewer refunds than those scammed elsewhere in Europe.

“If there’s good news for German banking customers,” BioCatch Director of Global Fraud Intelligence Tom Peacock said, “it’s that Germany has some of the best financial regulation in the world. We’ve seen the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) take the lead in identifying and then issuing regular alerts about prevalent investment scams in the country. German prosecutors have also proved effective in breaking up criminal phishing networks.”

While Germans may lag a bit behind other European nations in their adoption of online banking and mobile-payment systems, this is rapidly changing. BioCatch’s first-ever Germany fraud trends report shows annual growth in mobile-payment adoption rose by nearly 44% last year (more than double what it was in the UK), bringing with it equal amounts of convenience and new risk of fraud and financial crime.

BioCatch also expects the rapid advancements in generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) to impact Germany just as it will the rest of the world.

“GenAI will undoubtedly lead to more attacks against Germans that are also more sophisticated than those threats we see today,” BioCatch Regional Vice President Paul Davis said. “Already, this new technology can craft a scam in perfect German, impersonating an official’s or loved one’s voice and appearance to dupe the victim into sending the scammer money. In the future, GenAI tools will be able to identify potential victims, build a dossier of their weaknesses, and automatically devise and then refine attacks, drastically reducing the skill level necessary for human perpetrators.”

Other Key Germany Report Findings:

  • Germans Less Likely to Receive Scam Refunds than Others in EU: Legislation in Germany requires banks only reimburse victims of unauthorized fraud (phishing attacks). Even in those cases, the victim must still prove they weren’t negligent, delaying the refund process and leading to low refund-rates compared to the rest of Europe.
  • Online Banking Often Tedious: Germany’s response to anti-money-laundering (AML) failings in recent years has led to a reduction in risk-tolerance among financial institutions in the country, adding friction and headaches to the digital banking experience.
  • Lack of Crypto Understanding a Vulnerability: Only a third of Germans polled fully understood how crypto works, leaving more than 60% of the population susceptible to falling victim to a crypto scam.
  • Room for Growth in Online Banking: Less than 40% of Germany uses advanced digital banking services to apply online for new accounts or cards (39%), aggregate their accounts (30%), or use digital wallets (27%).

Click here to access BioCatch’s full 2024 Digital Banking Fraud Trends in Germany report and learn how to safeguard your financial institution against an ever-expanding array of fraud threats.


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