When is comes to Caller ID, seeing is not always believing

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 by Art Barger

For many, seeing is believing. This is why Caller ID has been relied upon for so long.

The information displayed on our telephone’s Caller ID screen has been a source we’ve used to see who was calling before we picked up. It helped us make a quick decision on whether or not we wanted to answer a call from neighbor Bob or Aunt Joyce, or let their call go straight into voicemail. Either way, Caller ID was a reliable credential to manage our behavior and personal phone system. 

A similar case can be made for call centers. 

Caller ID was a way phone agents could quickly and confidently decipher who was calling the customer service line. But spoofing services, which are often used for malicious behavior, have changed all that. With so much personal information now available across the Internet, building fraudulent profiles that fraudsters can use to socially engineer contact center agents have created vulnerabilities within customer authentication solutions that focus on sensitive customer data. Simply put, trusting Caller ID or ANI to identify customers over the telephone channel can put your customer accounts and confidential business data at risk.

As long as callers can hide behind the inherent anonymity of telephone communications, call centers should always be on guard for preeminent social engineering and spoofing threats. Neither are going away anytime soon, which is why it’s becoming increasingly important to identify customers without relying on knowledge-based information. 

Depending solely or too heavily on identity services or personal data that can be tainted or manipulated to advance criminal agendas is one of the biggest threats to contact centers today. Unfortunately, many banks continue to put themselves at risk by employing knowledge-based authentication (KBA) tools to authenticate customers over the phone. This creates an environment that puts the caller in control, leaving call center agents in the unfortunate position of trusting what they see, as well as the information they’re given by the person on the other end of the line.

Leaving customer authentication in the hands of callers is the last thing any contact center wants to do. With little to no control over the identity of who’s calling, there are too many factors that can leave the caller identity process open to risk and fraud. 

The good news is automatic authentication tools like the TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication can help contact centers close the door on social engineering scams. By proactively verifying customers without requiring any sensitive customer information, banks and businesses can regain control over the customer identification process. With no reliance on potentially mishandled information, call centers can take real-time action against known spoofed calls, as well as accept calls from verified genuine customers, faster.

While we would all like to think that seeing is believing, for call centers that’s no longer the case. To improve the security and efficiency of the telephone environment, financial institutions need to deploy proven authentication tools that are stronger and more effective than relying on blind faith.