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iovation Reports Increasing Risk of Mobile Gambling App Fraud

Legal sports bettors using their mobile phones to place wagers may increasingly see more fraud prevention security measures on their sports gambling apps as a result of scammers ramping up efforts to exploit online transactions.

iovation, a TransUnion-owned fraud prevention company, released new research August 6 showing that 49% of all risky online transactions in the first half of 2019 – those transactions which typically can be exploited by swindlers – were placed from mobile devices, up from 30% in 2018, 33% in 2017 and 25% in 2016.

However, 72% of online gambling transactions were conducted on mobile devices during the first six months of 2019, up from 70% in 2018, 62% in 2017 and 55% in 2016.

Securing Risky Business

Businesses like iovation keep an eye on trends in fraudulent activities, and develop targeted enhancements to help businesses combat scammers. The company’s report was generated from the fraud analysis of 30 billion online transactions from January 2016 to June 30, 2019.

Melissa Gaddis, senior director of customer success at iovation:

“Fraudsters are like chameleons. They are always adapting their tactics to make it look like they’re legitimate customers. With well over half of all transactions now coming from mobile devices, our analysts increasingly see fraudsters either using mobile devices or making it look like their transactions are coming from mobile when in fact they are using a traditional desktop.”


To help pinpoint fraudulent activity from transactions conducted on mobile devices, iovation suggests that businesses look for specific indicators of fraud, such as:

  • Mobile emulators and device positioning (to help pinpoint mobile emulators) which are designed to make desktop computers look like mobile devices.
  • Certain mobile carriers, mobile OS versions and and SIM card manufacturers can show a higher percentage of fraudulent activity.
  • Currency.
  • Language.

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