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16 million bots and fake users are expected to “shop” online this coming Valentine’s Day

New data released by cybersecurity company, CHEQ, today revealed that US eCommerce sites will become infected with 16 million bots and fake users this Valentine's Day.

The traffic is expected to come in a variety of forms, including botnets, click farms, malicious scrapers, shopping bots, fraudsters and more. CHEQ's predictions are derived from a study of the volume of invalid traffic (IVT) on eCommerce sites from organic and direct sources, along with an analysis of online shopping patterns, ahead of the holiday. With over half of US adults reported to celebrate Valentine's day, spending over the one-day holiday is expected to top $21B, meaning that financial ramifications of increased bot traffic on shopping sites could be significant.

"When fake users make their way to eCommerce sites, we see a variety of issues arise for shoppers and online businesses alike," said Guy Tytunovich, CHEQ's CEO. "Shopping cart stuffing, chargeback fraud, shopping scams and other malicious activities, all these negative phenomena tend to peak around when there's an influx of bots and malicious users."

A recent CHEQ report revealed that eCommerce sites typically see higher IVT rates than other internet destinations throughout the entire year as well. Retailers typically experience 32% IVT from organic and direct sources as compared to 27% on average across the internet. The study presents the threat of bots and fake users across several different industries, geographies, and device types.