Reduce your fraud risks: Educate customers about holiday scams

Posted on: December 02nd, 2015 by Art Barger

Financial institutions are well aware of the dangers of phone fraud. At this time of the year, contact centers are fully armed to ensure their telephone environments aren’t vulnerable to attacks. But to stop fraud in the phone channel, banks must help prevent threats beyond the enterprise level. Why? The information that scammers obtain from individuals is the same details they use to launch social engineering attacks against bank call centers.

The point is, telephone fraud does not exist without identity theft. Social engineering schemes are contingent on criminals first stealing or illegally purchasing sensitive customer data from their intended victims. From there, the scam is to trick call center agents into believing who they are impersonating. This is why it is imperative that financial institutions warn customers about Caller ID spoofing and other phone threats aimed at stealing their personal information.

We know that stealing personal details is much more than simply being duped over the telephone. Once fraud teams obtain enough personal data, they throw their blanket across all customer channels to access and take over bank accounts.

With holiday scams now in full force, the article, “‘Tis the season for scams,” provides a list of schemes that all consumers should be aware of this time of year:

  • Internet merchandise scams
  • Phishing or spoofing emails
  • Fake prizes, sweepstakes, free gifts and lottery scams
  • Fake check payments or credit card offers
  • Recovery or refund companies
  • Loan scams and credit fixers
  • Computer performance scams
  • Loan scams and credit fixers
  • Computer performance scams
  • Scholarship, student loan and financial aid scams
  • Online dating scams and fake Facebook friend scams

For banks and businesses alike, safeguarding customer channels is a top priority. It’s our responsibility to educate consumers about the various types of fraud scams out there. Knowing the red flags can help individuals make the right decisions to combat potential threats so thieves don’t get away with the information they need to commit identity fraud.

Consumers should be warned never to give away things like their Social Security number, bank account information or credit card details, particularly from a random call, email or text claiming to be from their bank. Today’s social engineers specialize in Caller ID spoofing to trick unsuspecting victims into divulging personal information when they believe they are talking to a bank rep. Whenever an individual gets a suspicious call, they should always hang up and call the bank number they know to make sure it is the bank they are talking to.

Educating your customers on your website, customer mailings, or call-waiting messages are just a few ways banks can keep individuals alerted about the latest threats. In many ways, fraud protection starts with the customer. Combining a high level of customer fraud awareness with effective caller authentication methods that don’t rely on sensitive customer information, can help improve call center security and protect your customer accounts from being compromised by sophisticated social engineering during the holidays, and throughout the year.

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