Since the beginning, fraudsters have always had one goal: separating hard working individuals and corporations from their hard-earned money. Often, the money that fraudsters steal is directed to fund even more dangerous activities throughout the world, including terrorism, human trafficking, arms deals, and government instability. Although the goal has stayed the same, tactics performed to carry out this objective have changed over time. The emergence of the use of the internet and digital financial services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as many stayed at home and utilized online sources, have created new opportunities for fraudsters to entangle themselves in scandals.
During COVID-19, fraudsters shifted their focus away from usual fraud schemes, such as account takeover, account opening and card-not-present fraud. Instead, they took advantage of the pandemic and manipulated their victims into disclosing personal information and payment details through fake websites and emails that imitate ones from official healthcare personnel. They took advantage of consumer fear and urgency of the situation. Through these tricks, fraudsters then took a hold of their victims’ personal information to then use it elsewhere.
The digital world has made it incredibly easy for fraudsters to operate on a global scale, where commerce and financial services can be accessed from virtually anywhere. We have seen attacks in the U.K. originating from the U.S. and attacks in the U.S. originating from Eastern Europe, West Africa and Southeast Asia. Not only have they been taking over the world, but fraudsters have been taking advantage of the growing digital environment, and as recent research from Experian found,” 55% of consumers say security is the most important factor in their digital experience.” It is important for individuals to know what to do to ensure that their information is secure and to have technology to utilize in order to fight against this issue. For both personal and businesses, there are ways to combat the scandals of fraudsters:
Business Fraud Prevention
Businesses should always be wary of fraud. Ransomware attacks and business email compromise are most often seen in this setting. Avoiding these types of fraud require prevention practices that include implementing account takeover protection mechanisms, leveraging a layered defense, with multiple discreet capabilities
The best prevention against most of these attacks is for businesses to implement better robust account takeover protection mechanisms, leveraging device intelligence, network intelligence, behavioral along with strong employee training on possible vulnerabilities, while also employing best practices around data back up and access security. For example, Experian’s CrossCare platform uses Machine Learning models and calls upon the right service at the right time, helping businesses provide a safe and convenient experience.
Personal Financial Fraud
While many think credit card numbers are the most important piece of information to keep private, the reality is that consumers are very well protected by their credit cards companies and banks against illicit use of those payment instruments. It is much more problematic for a consumer if their identity is stolen, as fraudsters can use that information to apply for a brand new credit and payment instruments, which the consumer may not be aware of until many months after the fact. Fraudsters can destroy credit, open accounts and steal money with this information.
The most important thing to remember is to be protective of this personal information when signing up for new services online and to think twice when receiving emails, phone calls, texts, or social media DMs from unfamiliar or out of character people.
The digital world was never designed with security in mind and fraudsters are attacking everywhere. Businesses must invest in new technologies in order to give people the added security they desire when accessing their accounts. In fact, according to our most recent Global Identity & Fraud Report, consumers no longer believe passwords are the most secure method for authentication. Since the pandemic, consumers have an increasing level of comfort and preference for physical and behavior-based – or invisible – methods of security. There’s an opportunity for companies to modernize their authentication that doesn’t require heavy customer involvement and doesn’t take away from a seamless digital journey.
Written by David Britton.
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