Changes in Fraud Landscape

Digital banking has opened up more means for fraudsters to trick financial institutions, lenders, or end customers. To keep up, businesses have transformed their operations to provide valuable digital banking experience to customers, and combat fraud.

Banks all over the world are now focusing on seamless onboarding experiences. But this rapid growth in digital banking has also allowed fraudsters to become more creative. The numbers around digital banking fraud, ID theft, and data breaches are increasing rapidly.

In this blog, we’ll outline the common types of fraud, and how and why they’re changing. We’ll also be sharing ways lenders can protect themselves against evolving fraud. 

First off, let’s take a look at the common types of fraud:

What is First-Party Fraud?

First-Party fraud is when a person knowingly falsifies their identity or gives false information for financial or material gain. Common examples include exaggerating their income, fabricating their employment, or providing fake information to take advantage of some services.

Business often categorizes first-party fraud as credit loss and is written off as bad debt. This leads to issues in the long run for businesses trying to figure out how much they’ve lost. The data makes them able to make future lending decisions, and build fraud prevention practices:

Common types of first-party fraud include:

  • Fronting

Fronting is when businesses set up services in someone else’s name to save money. Kids applying for car insurance under their parent’s name to get cheaper insurance.

  • Address Fronting

Address fronting is when someone uses a different application to get a cheaper service. Someone could sign up for a service in a cheaper area, using a fake address instead of using the real address which costs more money.

  • Chargeback Fraud

Chargeback fraud is often called “friendly fraud”. This fraud happens when a user denies making a purchase on a credit or debit card to get a refund from the credit card provider.

  • De-Shopping

 It’s a type of fraud that users do when they buy clothes or other items with the intention of returning them after using them and getting a full refund.

  • Goods Lost in Transit Fraud

This is a type of fraud that’s increasing at an alarming pace. In this, customers order goods online and claim that they haven’t been delivered. Some buyers claim that the products have been damaged, or even return empty boxes to get a refund.

How is First-Party Fraud Changing?

The type of people that cause first-party fraud has changed significantly during the pandemic. During the pandemic, customers with excellent credit scores and a good repayment history found themselves struggling financially.

According to a report by CIFAS, 1 out of 13 Brits admitted to committing one instance of first-party fraud last year.

What is Second-Party Fraud?

Second-party fraud is when an individual shares their identity or personal information with someone else to commit fraud. The biggest example of second-party fraud includes money mulling.

In money mulling, an individual provides access to someone else to move money in or out of their accounts for a small fee. While a lot of people consider this a victimless crime, it can have some victims. If the money being moved is used to fund violent crimes, terrorism, or drugs, it can be victim related.

How is Second Party Fraud Changing?

More than often, young people have been the target of second-party fraud. Fraudsters love to use social media to target young people. The trend has changed as more and more older people are involved. As with first-party fraud, the pandemic has pushed more people into financial problems. This makes them more vulnerable to fraudsters.

What is Third-Party Fraud?

Third-party fraud in general is known as identity theft. Fraudsters steal the user’s identity or personal details and use them without the user’s consent. It also includes manufactured identities called synthetic identities. 

There’s a clear victim when it comes to third-party fraud. To a trained eye, it can be easy to spot instances of fraud. It also includes manufactured identities, with the fraudster creating a new identity using stolen and false information.

Third-party fraud is the most common type of fraud that happens throughout the globe. 

How is Third-Party Fraud Changing?

Fraud varies significantly across the lender’s portfolios and the type of products they offer. According to reports, third-party fraud is at risk of growing for current accounts, loans, cards, and savings. Mortgages and asset finance are at an increased risk of first-party fraud. 

Combating fraud is challenging, but with technologies like online document verification, online bank verification, or online proof of address verification services can help.


Fraud Risk Management Practices

According to a report by ACFE, organizations lose about 5% of their annual revenue to fraud annually. This is because businesses don’t focus much on common fraud risk management practices. This leads to companies not being able to protect themselves against fraud, and meet bottom-line compliance requirements.

As more and more financial institutions are required to bear the burden of compliance, they need to know the appropriate methods of risk management.

These risk management frameworks help businesses to identify and respond to fraud. Being able to assess risk early on helps them protect organizations against common fraud types. Businesses can implement fraud risk management practices and gain an advantage over their competition.

Benefits of Fraud Risk Management Practices

Financial institutions that implement basic and advanced fraud risk management practices tend to reap additional benefits.

The most common benefits include the following:

  • Reduced financial losses due to fraud. 
  • Reduced costs of responding to fraud.
  • Better compliance with local and global regulatory requirements.
  • Enhanced employee awareness of employees against fraud throughout the organization.
  • Increased reporting of potential fraud and other ethical issues. 
  • Enhanced level of corporate governance.

Best Practices for Fraud Risk Management

Organizations don’t need over-the-top processes that add friction instead of reducing it. To reduce fraud, businesses need to reinforce their current models. This can be done using best practices for fraud risk management:

1. Invest in Ideal Technology

The right type of technology can make or break everything. Integrating technologies that help prevent fraud such as online document verification, proof of address verification software, bank verification software, etc.

Technologies like these can help organizations streamline the compliance process. Financial institutions can also verify which customers are real, and which are not.

Being able to clearly see through fraudulent practices is what businesses can do to reduce financial losses through fraud.

2. Build a Risk Insight Culture

Businesses can get instant benefits from risk insights. Risk insights can also improve the management decision-making process. Although, in order to maximize the long-term benefits, businesses need to take a systematic approach. Employees should know about risk awareness and should ensure continuous compliance in the financial process.

3. Understand Your Compliance Capabilities

Strong compliance provides benefits that are hard to measure. Business leaders need to identify their company alongside the level of their compliance capabilities. Knowing the journey helps organizations understand which approach they should take to improve compliance capabilities. 

4. Find Flexible Solutions

The fraud number keeps on increasing on existing channels and new channels. Finance leaders need to strengthen their ability to detect fraud and analytical capabilities.

Financial institutions need to leverage existing data to be able to improve fraud risk management capabilities. Fraud is getting complicated, thus making it vital for businesses to come up with flexible fraud risk management solutions. 

5. Consolidate All Data Sources into a Single Platform

There are thousands of fraud risk detection solutions available in the market. Businesses need to make sure that data captured from all these technologies are kept on a single platform. Consolidated data makes analysis and decision-making easier. 

This also avoids the creation of unnecessary data silos, which leads to instances of fraud.

6. Have an Omnichannel View of Fraud Detection

Organizations need to consider all digital channels if they want to manage risk effectively. An omnichannel approach to fraud risk management can minimizes the risk of a fraudster migrating to another channel after losing access to the first one. 

To be able to do this, businesses need to develop a single central platform to ensure data points and behavioral patterns can be accessed through all channels. 

7. Evaluate Risk Throughout the Customer Journey

The level of risk associated with a transaction should be assessed and handled before the customer reaches the final step of the payment. Risk management leaders must build fraud risk management systems that can assess risk from the beginning of a customer journey. 

This includes analyzing customer behavior, analyzing the use of bots, and scripts, monitoring account login/creation, and defining the risk of the action. They also need to implement ideal obstacles along the journey.

8. Build a Seamless Customer Experience

The risk management approach is different for each organization. No two organizations can follow the same steps and get the same results. A new approach is needed that can integrate fraud detection, and customer verification technologies.

The goal of the process should be to eliminate fraud while trying to keep the customer onboarding experience as seamless as possible.

Risk management leaders should focus on streamlining the customer experience, and implementing frictionless customer verification processes.

9. Reduce the Cost of Fraud

When businesses focus on reducing the total cost of fraud instead of the rate of fraud, they are able to come up with better strategies. With this goal in mind, organizations can make informed decisions about how much they need to invest in fraud detection and prevention.


How to Prevent Account Takeover Fraud?

Account takeover fraud (ATO) happens when an unauthorized person takes over a normal user bank account. Fraudsters take every measure to try and control an account. Once they have an account under control, fraudsters apply for a new card or change basic account information. In this guide, we’ll be talking about account takeover fraud, and how big of a threat it is for financial service providers.

Most of the time, individuals are the victims of account takeover fraud. Sometimes, fraudsters take over the business and small business accounts as well. Compared to 2019, 2021 saw a 21% increase in account takeover fraud. Out of all types of fraud, three-quarters of cases are account takeover fraud.

Old and New Ways of Account Takeover Fraud

Account takeover fraud is one of the oldest types of fraud. In the past, criminals relied more on manual ways to collect enough knowledge about a victim to access the account and eventually take control. 

They could access this information by going through people’s trash, stealing mail, and bribing or blackmailing. In today’s time, the way of accessing information has changed completely. Cybercrime has become the primary method of acquiring information for account takeover fraud.

Moreover, fraudsters can buy information for dirt cheap from the dark web to allow them to take over financial accounts. 

The dark web has multiple marketplaces that specialize in selling personally identifiable information (names, account numbers, addresses, social security numbers, national IDs, and more). 

As most people reuse their passwords for multiple accounts, it makes it easier for fraudsters to take over multiple accounts at once. 

When fraudsters have access to this much data with ease, they test it out. There are both old-school, and new-age methods to try these techniques. They can use automated tools to mount mass attempts to access these accounts with credentials stuffing. 

There are other ways. According to reports, around 44% of account takeover fraud instances happen using telephone channels. This suggests that call centers are the weak link in the process.

What Do Fraudsters Do With Taken-Over Accounts?

There are multiple parties involved when it comes to fraud. The criminals that commit data breaches to access accounts, are not the same criminals to use the data to determine if it’s usable. When accounts are found that are vulnerable, they’re sold to other fraudsters that actually take over the account. 

When an account is taken over, some fraudsters just want to make quick money. They simply transfer the available amount to some other account. Some fraudsters use these accounts to use them for money laundering.

Other fraudsters play the longer game, they use the account to get as much monetary gain as possible. This is done in several steps:

  • Fraudsters gain long-term control of the account. They change core account information such as an address, mobile number, and date of birth. 
  • They issue a new card for the account with the new details (new address, new mobile number, etc).
  • They keep using the account to maximize the funds available.  They increase credit card limits or use the account as a gateway to getting more funds, such as a loan. Once a fraudster has maximized the amount they can obtain before the risk to them becomes too high, they cash out of the account under their control. 

When this happens, it’s extremely difficult for the financial institutions to find the legitimate account holder from the fraudster, or which activity was done by who.

How do Financial Institutions Handle Account Takeover Fraud?

To stop account takeover fraud from happening, financial institutions need to both prevent it and also detect suspicious activity so they can intervene. This can be done by employing multiple techniques:

1. Strong Customer Authentication

ID authentication is a major part of the account protection process. Several banks and financial institutions pay huge attention to the ID verification process. In the EU, PSD2 regulation is used more for checking a customer’s identity when they make a payment. That’s now all, PSD2 also includes authentication of account holders when they access or use payment accounts.

Any activity on a payment account that increases fraud risk requires strong customer authentication. Financial institutions have multiple methods to verify if the account holder is a legitimate user or not.

To meet the requirement of PSD2, financial institutions have to cover 2-3 categories:

  • Knowledge authentication – Something only the user knows (password, PIN, etc).
  • Possession – Something only the user possesses, such as a token, mobile, card, etc.
  • Inherence – Something that the user himself is (fingerprint, facial recognition, etc).

2. Customer Communications for Confirmation

Once a fraudster has access to an account, it’s not all over. The more details the fraudster may change on the account, the more control they have, but before they make changes the bank has the contact information for the real account holder. 

As well as authenticating customers wanting to make changes. To prevent account takeover fraud, banks can use real-time automated, and two-way communications with their customers to confirm, such actions are needed.

For example, if a change of address is needed, then a text message can be sent to the mobile phone number on record to confirm if this action is legitimate. 

3. Understanding Criminal Networks

Organized crime usually happens on a larger scale. Fraudsters try to take over as many accounts as they can. While this is a threat to financial institutions that have bad defenses, it can also be an opportunity to identify accounts that have been taken over. 

With application fraud, criminals have limited contact information that they can use to manage accounts. They recycle mobile numbers, emails, and addresses using the same contact information for multiple accounts.


Using AI for Fraud Detection in Banking

In 2022 and after, more than 50% of all financial institutions plan to use AI to detect and prevent fraud. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and prevent fraud is not new. But, the fight has just gotten tougher as fraudsters have derived new methods to combat AI methods.

Especially after the Covid-19 pandemic fraud has become more sophisticated. So it makes sense that financial institutions would want effective AI solutions to detect and prevent fraud.

According to some data, the demand for AI seems more simple than ever:

  • More than 50% of financial institutions’ respondents plan to roll out AI solutions to tackle new cases of fraud.
  • Almost a third of financial institutions plan to invest in newer AI technologies to prevent fraud.

Banking institutions are aware of the downsides of not investing in AI capabilities. Fraud numbers hit an all-time high in 2020, and manual verification methods aren’t enough to combat new types of fraud.

Trying to uncover new types of fraud without using some AI is a heavy burden for analysts. Not just that, but human errors and rule-specific approaches can lead to a higher number of false positives. This leads to a negative impact on the customer journey.

Machine Learning in Banking Fraud Detection

Artificial technologies run on machine learning technologies. Machine learning algorithms are incredibly effective against fraud.

When implemented successfully, machine learning helps in detecting fraud, and uncovering complex financial crimes. They protect businesses from fraud losses and let businesses provide a frictionless experience to legit customers.

If you’re wondering how machine learning algorithms detect fraud, you’re not alone. Machine learning is a teachable system that can automate both front and back-office processes.

Instead of OS, or unchanging protocols, AI can learn from its experiences and evolve according to the situation. Machine learning systems also consider past transactions and also apply these rules to future transactions. 

The more data these systems go through, the more efficient they become in uncovering fraud. AI systems become familiar with techniques used by fraudsters to crack FIs systems. 

Investing in AI software, and machine learning technologies can be a great option for fraud detection and prevention.

Predictive Analysis for Banking Fraud Detection

Before machine learning technologies, there were predictive analysis technologies. While machine learning solutions are more flexible, and have more freedom, predictive analysis still has a firm place in the industry.

Unlike machine learning technologies, in which algorithms are asked to process supplied data without rules and regulations, predictive analysis finds patterns and behaviors. 

This is helpful when it comes to going through large sets of data to predict behaviors. Any activity outside of the predictive behaviors is likely to be considered a red flag. The predictive analysis relies on analyzing behaviors in the past and then converting them into fraud prevention methods today.

Next Steps in Automating Fraud Detecting

Automating fraud detection and prevention is a major challenge. With the focus on including AI in the financial industry, fraud prevention can be increased. Instead of using historical data, predictive analysis prevents fraud from happening.

While AI is not a sure-shot method of fraud prevention, when combined with instant document verification, human elements, it can lead to complete fraud detection. Over time, the inclusion of AI in the financial industry has become a vital part of the strategy.

ID Verification

Importance of ID Verification for Buy Now Pay Later Providers

The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) sector has seen tremendous growth in the last couple of years. Especially because it is giving customers an option to pay for things later that they buy right now. But the service providers and the sector itself have faced some criticism from consumer interest groups and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

There are huge concerns that consumers could build up large debts by spending more than they can afford to pay back. There’s also a worry that fraudsters could target companies that offer these services to do some fraud.

With the help of stolen identity data, fraudsters can open up accounts and make purchases with no intention of paying back. Moreover, if an organization doesn’t have enough security measures in place, fraudsters can easily rack up huge debts.

With ID theft cases on the rise, customers who have done no harm may be liable to pay amounts that they haven’t used. Having a dark spot on their resume also impacts a user’s ability to secure a loan or mortgage in the future. Even if their identities were stolen, they didn’t go into debt themselves.

FCA’s Review of the BNPL Industry

With this growing concern, FCA evaluated the unsecured credit market in 2022 and is now coming up with regulations that will protect customers and businesses from fraud. 

Unregulated providers will have to comply with regulations set by FCA to continue working. For Buy Now Pay Later startups, protecting themselves and their customers is now one of the biggest concerns. 

That’s not the only thing that BNPL providers have to protect, they also have to protect their reputation. In a new and growing sector, winning the trust of customers is crucial for growth.

To minimize the risk of ID fraud, many companies have to review their operations and make changed to comply with the strict requirements of AML and KYC. This will also mean making greater use of ID verification services. Businesses also need to carry out sophisticated checks every time a user chooses to use the services. 

ID verification checks also help Buy Now Pay Later companies to successfully verify customers that may be spending more than they should or customers who may have trouble paying back.

BNPL companies should also look forward to protecting customers, verifying affordability, and other factors.

What BNPL Companies Need to Know About ID Verification?

BNPL companies can use ID verification services to check if their customers are who they claim to be. Know your customer checks have to validate a customer’s personal information.

While onboarding a new customer, BNPL companies should conduct KYC checks. The same level of due diligence must be applied when a customer is making a high-value purchase or making changes in their delivery address. 

In these cases, a customer may be asked to provide valid ID proof or to enter a unique code sent to the customer’s email ID. 

Why Identity Verification for BNPL Services is Important?

ID fraud makes up around 61% of all fraud cases reported to the UK’s National Fraud Database. ID fraud cases have grown by 32% in the last 5 years. Online banks and sellers are common targets for fraudsters. BNPL companies are also increasingly being targeted by fraudsters.

Common attacks include phishing attacks to obtain users’ log-in details, creating new accounts with stolen payment cards, and account takeover fraud.

This in turn destroys trust in Buy Now Pay Later companies and hurts the growth of the industry. To be able to establish trust in the industry, businesses need to verify ID verification services.


NeoBanks vs Traditional Banks – What’s the Difference?

Have you noticed new companies popping out of nowhere, offering great credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial services? Companies with a massive digital footprint, but almost zero physical footprints.

Welcome to the world of digital banking. Digital banking or Neo-Banking is the next natural step that the financial industry will take, at least according to some industry experts.

Every now and then there’s someone who asks what are digital banks, how they operate, and how are Neobanks different from Traditional banks.

The word Neo comes from a Greek word that basically translates to “new.” So, Neobanks is a clever way of saying that this is the new age of banking. Similar to traditional banks, they offer savings accounts, current accounts, loans, money transfers, credit cards, and more.

So what’s the actual difference between the two? That’s what we’ll help you figure out.

Difference Between Neobanks and Traditional Banks

There’s a huge list of similarities between Neobanks and traditional banks, but they’re still fundamentally different. Let’s go over the list of differences between Neobanks and traditional banks.

1. Neobanks have no physical presence

Unlike traditional banks that have branches all over a location, neobanks have no physical locations you can visit. The entire infrastructure is online, and you can handle every setting of your account with an app.

This online-only model helps in saving thousands of dollars on operations costs, and costs that come along with running physical locations.

Traditional banks historically have had a physical presence, and in recent years they’ve started to get into digital banking more deeply. Compared to digital banking services offered by traditional banks, Neobanks’ services are more user-friendly and easy to use.

2. Neobanks are not regulated

While they’re called banks, neobanks are actually financial institutions. The difference between neobanks and traditional banks is that traditional banks need to have banking licenses. Neobanks are not recognized as an official entities by regulatory bodies, and thus they don’t have to follow regulations.

They utilize this saved money to provide better services at a lower cost to customers.

Some neobanks may have partial, full range, or a special banking license. A banking license allows neobanks to offer all kinds of banking services. 

3. Neobanks are more affordable

As neobanks have no physical operations to run, they can save more money, which allows them to be more affordable. They have no opening fees, low maintenance costs, no minimum requirements, no hidden fees, and they offer higher saving interest rates.

Neobanks also tend to be more transparent with their fees upfront. Traditional banks tend to have a lot of hidden charges that consumers may not understand at first.

4. Neobanks offer more flexibility

Compared to traditional banks, every single activity in neobanks is easier to do. Opening up a new account and signing up is far easier than traditional banks. It is also easier to borrow money from a neobank compared to a traditional bank.

Signing up for a credit card, or applying for a loan at a traditional bank means you’ll have to pass a range of checks. 

5. Traditional banks have more services

The biggest difference between a neobank and a traditional bank is the number of services offered. While Neobanks are faster more, user-friendly, and flexible, they often have one or 2 main services. 

Comparatively, traditional banks have a wider reach all thanks to their physical locations. People who don’t yet trust online banking, or haven’t had exposure to online banking services still prefer traditional banking over newer methods. 

6. Traditional banks are more accessible

The popularity of Neobanks has grown tremendously over the years. This is because of those who want the convenience of online banking. At the same time, traditional banks use their old-age methods of maintaining quality relations with their customers.

Neobanks are going through a great phase throughout the world. Millions of customers rely on their services, and industry experts are waiting for the future. Currently, the situation is that more users prefer traditional banks over neobanks as they’re more easily available and more reliable. 

Customers can actually go to a physical office or talk to a representative when they have a grievance. The same can’t be said for a neobank.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which bank is better? Neobank or traditional bank?

The better bank depends on your needs. Based on your service requirements, the better bank for you can differ greatly. Neobanks have lower fees, they’re easier to sign up with, and they’re great for tech-savvy people. 

Traditional banks are more reliable, have physical accessibility, and they’re regulated. But they’re more expensive, offer lower interest rates, and more.

2. What are the services of a traditional bank?

The most common traditional banking services include:

  • Providing a savings account
  • Providing a checking account
  • Issuing debit cards
  • Issuing credit cards
  • Wealth management
  • Giving out loans
  • Insurance

3. Which bank is safer, Neobank or a Traditional bank?

It comes down to the level of due diligence an institution has employed. Being more tech-friendly, neobanks generally offer better security. They have simpler onboarding, yet they do ID verification, and KYC checks. 

However, traditional banks have huge infrastructure and years of experience under their belts. Moreover, they have to follow regulations set by regulatory bodies. 

In the end, it comes down to the level of customer due diligence an institution employs.

4. Do Neobanks have banking licenses?

No, most neobanks don’t have a banking license. Although, there are chances that some neobanks may have a partial, full, or special banking license. With these licenses, neobanks can offer services that a traditional bank can, with more focus on user experience, and affordability.

ID Verification

Identity Identification vs Identity Verification

Fraudsters love to come up with new methods to commit fraud, launder money, or steal money. A growing number of fraudsters also impersonate real customers for getting access to their accounts.

As more and more transactions happen online today, businesses are facing a number of threats such as card fraud, phishing attacks, and electronic transfer fraud. This constant wave of fraud impacts business growth, and impacts the level of trust customers have in businesses.

To fight against fraud, Identity verification and identity identification services need to be implemented. Moreover, these services help businesses comply with regulatory guidelines. But, there are some key differences between identity verification and identity identification.

In this blog, we’ll cover identity verification vs identity identification. Let’s go over them and what they mean for businesses.

What is Identity Identification?

Identity identification is the process of checking if the person actually is who they claim to be. It’s the act of identifying individuals by checking their photographs, and personal information in ID documents.

This can be as simple and quick as showing an ID badge when visiting a government office, or showing identity documents when buying something age-restricted.

In online environments, the identity identification process is a bit different. Customers are asked to prove their identity by entering personal information alongside their payment details. All this information helps organizations verify if the information presented is correct or not.

For low-value transactions or organizations that are comfortable with a higher level of risk, this is enough due diligence. But, with the level of ID theft fraud growing every year, normal identification methods aren’t enough. More sophisticated methods of verifying identity should be in place to deter fraudsters. 

To ensure a higher level of security and to comply with ID regulations, it’s not enough to make decisions using user-submitted information. In simple words, it means that the information provided by customers needs to be verified against another source. This will help organizations understand if a real person is submitting the information, or if a fraudster trying to trick the organization.

What is Identity Verification?

Digital identity verification services help organizations to verify identity information available in the ID documents that are submitted by customers. This data is compared from an issuing source, like the DMV. Comparing information available from a third party, or verified data sets can reduce the risk of identity theft taking place.

In this increasingly digital environment, organizations may need to verify a customer’s identity almost every day. Especially when it comes to onboarding new customers. Verifying a customer’s identity is crucial when they want to open a new account, make a high-value transaction, or access age restricted-services. Identity verification is often used by organizations that have stricter security standards. Banking and financial industries have higher security standards. 

With more than 1.2 billion personally identifiable information records available on the dark web, it’s a major risk to allow customers to onboard without verifying their information. Onboarding people without verifying their identities can lead to huge losses for banks, can put other customers at risk of exposure, and break the existing trust value of an organization.

To minimize the risk of ID fraud and money laundering, most identity verification solutions require users to verify their ID documents in additional ways.

In doing so, the level of security increases in line with the number of checks performed. Every security check needs to be done with a particular target in mind. This is one of the best ways to reduce the risks of fraud and build a certain level of trust in the industry.

Customer ID identification and ID verification methods should have the perfect balance between stringent, and easy-to-follow. Ensuring perfect fraud prevention and customer experience.


Mobile Fraud – How Does it Work, How to Prevent it?

Chances are that you’re reading this blog on your smartphone. That’s because over 60% of all online traffic comes from smartphones. We use our mobile phones for a lot of things, online accounting, social media, emails, and so much more. We carry it with us all the time and use it for every small thing. Smartphones have become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. So, it makes sense that fraudsters would want to gain access to your smartphone.

Mobile fraud has become a major concern in recent years. Just by accessing a single device, fraudsters can take over every single thing they need to. The threat to personal finance and security is very real.

In this guide, we’ll cover the five biggest mobile fraud threats and the best fraud prevention best practices.

Techniques Fraudsters Use for Mobile Fraud

Fraudsters keep coming up with new and interesting ways to conduct fraudulent activities. Although, there are some tried and tested techniques that work in their favor. So here are the top 5 mobile fraud threats that fraudsters love to try:

1. SIM Cloning & SIM Swapping

A common mobile fraud technique that fraudsters use is to take over an individual’s online accounts. This helps them ‘socially engineer’ access to their bank account and other personal and financial data.

This is done by collecting personal data from multiple sources, including messaging and social media sources. Then they use this data to try and persuade the mobile operator to issue a new SIM that a fraudster uses to get all the one-time passwords (OTPs) to access your accounts.

If this method isn’t successful, fraudsters use smart card copying software or use remote hacking to clone a SIM Card.

Cloning a SIM card provides access to all the data, and account details. Through this, they can conduct all kinds of fraudulent activities.

2. Device Cloning

Device cloning is another commonly used mobile fraud technique fraudsters use. Our smartphones contain all the apps and personal data that you need to access services like online banking, online stores, etc.

Fraudsters can transfer data and services from one mobile device to another one, making a clone of the original device. Fraudsters can make calls and conduct transactions from cloned devices without specific checks.

3. Caller ID Spoofing

Your Caller ID is the number visible to the people you’re calling. This helps others to identify who the call is from. Fraudsters can create false caller IDs from a local service provider/company that the victim knows. When the victim picks up the call, the caller tries to obtain personal information under false pretenses.

Calls and messages are sent from this fake ID to trick the victims into divulging personal/confidential information. Once the call or message is answered, the fraudsters will use social engineering methods to persuade victims to provide confidential information.

4. Recycling Phone Numbers

When a mobile user’s account is closed, the mobile operator will release the phone number again after a short period of closing the account. Now the number can be reassigned to someone else and can be used by some other user.

Today, it has become a common practice that mobile numbers are associated with personal accounts. Allowing for the transfer of funds using mobile numbers. A lot of fraudsters activate old mobile numbers with the aim of finding a number that has been recently recycled.

This number can then be used to access accounts linked with the number.

5. Call Forwarding

Call Forwarding is another mobile fraud technique used by fraudsters. In some online transactions, customers are asked to prove whether they have the mobile in their possession or not. This is done by sending a one-time password to the customer.

Sometimes, fraudsters call or text an intended victim, asking them to forward their call on to someone else. This can be done for any fake reason. Once the victim forwards inbound calls and texts to a fraudster’s device, the fraudster will be able to access all the one-time passwords needed to access personal accounts.

Fraudsters can now access accounts, make payments, and conduct other frauds without the victim ever knowing.

Use of Real-Time Data for Preventing Mobile Fraud

Mobile phones have become an undeniable part of our lives. Without smartphones, there are hundreds of things we won’t be able to accomplish on regular basis.

Mobile phones provide unique data in that it is the only source of ‘dynamic’ data on what’s happening in ‘real-time’. This dynamic data can be used to immediately figure out if a device has been lost or stolen, or if a SIM card has been recently swapped. It can even help in figuring out if the inbound calls or texts have been forwarded.

By using mobile data, you can keep fraudsters out, and it’s also helpful in identifying good guys. Companies can do mobile data checks behind the scenes to access online services securely, quickly, and easily, and ensure that customers won’t fall prey to mobile fraud.


Know Your Customer’s Customer

KYCC is a great way to protect your business’s reputation and protect itself against financial crimes.

KYC (Know Your Customer) protocols are too common and are known by almost every regulated business. But, have you thought about the level of risks your customers’ customer present to your business? The type of products and services your customers provide will decide the type of customers they have. Based on the number of customers, you may face unique risks.

When you comply with the Know Your Customer’s Customer (KYCC) process, you can protect your business from potential threats that come up.

What is Know Your Customer’s Customer (KYCC)?

KYCC is an additional compliance method that businesses can employ. KYCC goes a step beyond ordinary KYC or KYB methods. It is the most similar to the Know Your Business (KYB), process. It involves you doing a close analysis of our business’s customers.

With KYCC, you have to evaluate your business clients. You have to go past your business’s clients, and see who they work with. Based on your customer’s customer base, your business could be exposed to new and unique threats.

The primary goal of KYCC is to:

  • Confirm that businesses that are your customers are actually who they claim to be. By verifying their accounts, you can be a bit more confident that you’re dealing with an actual business, not some fraudster.
  • KYCC allows you to identify if any of your customers are offering their services to shell companies, or high-risk companies.

Importance of KYCC

KYCC measures can protect your business, customers, and the economy against tax evasion, terrorist financing, money laundering, etc. Without proper regulations, these crimes can grow at an alarming pace. 

KYCC procedures are not widely regulated across the globe currently. But, these regulations are becoming a standard. The 5th and 6th Directives in the EU and FinCEN have indicated a deepening interest in KYC, risk, and compliance. 

As new regulatory bodies continue to understand the importance of KYCC, it’s expected new regulations will soon be announced. If customers discover your businesses have facilitated illegal activity, it’s going to hurt your reputation. When you implement KYCC protocols, you’ll be able to identify these issues and reduce the level of risk associated. 

KYCC is more crucial for high-risk industries, such as finance. That said, any business can benefit from the reputational benefits of KYCC.

What Does KYCC Look Like?

KYCC looks a lot like KYC. The only big difference is that you have to verify your customers’ customers. Similar to KYC, there are some basic steps in KYCC:

  • Identification – In this step, businesses have to identify and verify the identity of each of your customers’ customers.
  • Due Diligence – This step involves checking sanctions lists, account history, and other information to make sure your customer’s customers aren’t involved in illegal activities.
  • Ongoing Monitoring – It is where you implement measures to come find illegal activities. Businesses have to take action to handle the task accordingly.

How to Start Implementing KYCC?

To begin KYCC, you’ll first need to ask your customers to provide a list of their customers. If they’re not comfortable sharing this information, or are hesitant to share it, you may have to teach your customers about the benefits of KYCC.

When you have the information, you’ll have to collect all the necessary information to do KYC checks on these individuals. To be able to perform KYC checks, you’ll need to collect information and data from multiple sources.

As your customers conduct business, they’ll add new clients to their list. It’s essential that KYCC becomes an ongoing process. This way, companies will be able to detect any suspicious activity as soon as possible.

Despite the efforts, a thorough KYCC process improves both your and your customer’s businesses. It helps businesses raise their reputational standards, establish improved compliance methods, and increase trust and safety. 

How to Protect Your Business with Proactive Implementation?

You can protect your business by implementing KYCC measures. But, you should only do this if other compliance methods are already fulfilled. While the measure is not too important currently, in the near future regulatory bodies may come up with new regulations. 

By implementing KYCC in place today, you can proactively protect yourself from financial crimes such as money laundering. You’ll also be able to protect your business against reputational risks and avoid legal troubles that come along.

ID Verification

How Identity Proofing Prevents Fraud?

Building trust online requires proof in today’s time. After the pandemic, it has become harder for businesses operating in the growing digital world needs to ensure that a customer is a real person. This is also known as “identity verification or Know your Customer” for businesses in regulated industries. 

There are several technologies that involve verifying name, date of birth, and address information to reputable data sources such as credit references. But, all of these steps are worthless if identity proofing is not done beforehand.

What is Identity Proofing?

Identity proofing is the process of making sure that the person who’s signing up is actually real. This is one of the most important parts of an identity verification journey. If a business is unable to verify the identity of a customer, any verification step afterward is in vain.

Not having a proper due diligence process for vetting your customers can lead to financial and reputational losses.

Document Verification in Identity Proofing

During physical customer onboarding, businesses can rely on physical identity data to verify if a customer is real or not. In physical settings, companies can check for ID documents.

After Covid, we’ve moved to a digital onboarding process. Businesses have to go through a digital identity verification process. So, what is the approach businesses can take to verify the identities of customers?

Knowledge-Based Authentication

A lot of new technologies have come to the market to accommodate this. Knowledge-based authentication questions are one method of identity proofing. KBA is a set of questions that only a real person would know. Common questions include:

  • Amount of money spent on mortgage
  • Color of the first car
  • Name of the first pet
  • Your favorite teacher

There are legitimate questions, but they can also be answered by a spouse. Bad actors try to guess answers to these questions. In case there has been a major data breach, fraudsters tend to use this data to answer questions. But knowledge-based questions aren’t really a secure method of identity proofing.

Businesses need to use solutions that replicate face-to-face interactions. There need to be solutions that can be legitimate, and secure.

Step-by-Step Process to Digital Identity Proofing

1. Document Verification

To verify identity, a customer is asked to provide copies of their government-issued ID documents. Robust document verification solutions such as DIRO can verify the legitimacy of the document by cross-referencing information from the issuing sources.

2. Face Match

In the next step, businesses need to verify that the person presenting the documents is legit. The right way to do this is to match the face on the document with the person who presented the document.

Some companies ask the customer to verify themselves by submitting a selfie. Face-matching is an important part of identity proofing.

3. Liveness Check

The problem with face match is that a fraudster can submit the selfie of the original person that they can download online. So Liveness check is crucial to make sure it’s a legit person submitting the application, not a fake person. 

Liveness check is the process where a person has to record a video and say a code in the video. This prevents the use of any impersonation tools or the use of fake photos.

4. Digital Identity Data Layering

All the Identity verification experts that no one size fits all digital ID proofing works for all businesses. With any system, there are outliers and exceptions. Having a multi-layered approach to digital identity verification is wise.

Relying on trusted third-party data is a crucial part of the identity-proofing process. Taking a data-centric approach to ID verification makes it easier for businesses.

5. Secure and Smooth Customer Experience

A great customer onboarding experience is crucial for both businesses and customers. Customers who have a poor onboarding experience tend to never use the services.

For businesses to scale up, you need to provide a secure yet smooth customer onboarding experience. Fraudsters, tend to find the path of least resistance, and by avoiding detection and prevention steps between bad actors.