Of the many problems Covid-19 has created and exacerbated, fraud is one of the most common.
The past few weeks have shown that fraud during the pandemic has not diminished. In these times of crisis, many fraudsters used individuals, while those who were most vulnerable and least protected, such as the elderly, were the most vulnerable. The latest data show that the number of fraud cases has increased by 200-400%, depending on the sector. In the current climate of uncertainty, everyone is a target and no one is insured.
While early business issues related to COVID-19 focused on employee productivity and communication, fraud protection quickly became a problem.
It is essential that organizations strengthen their cyber security systems and equip themselves with the latest prevention tools, such as biometrics, to protect themselves from financial loss and to protect their most vulnerable customers from identity theft during this and subsequent phases of insecurity.
The unsung heroes of the economy
Due to the sudden and large-scale introduction of teleworking, many companies are confronted with increasingly frequent and sophisticated attack styles. Call centres in particular are under pressure. Many have little experience of integrating a remote work environment, and fraudsters exploit this by testing vulnerabilities, directly attacking domestic agents, or even pretending to test weaknesses in the wider business environment.
This situation is exacerbated by the fact that many call centres around the world are experiencing a sharp increase in the number of customer calls. The economic downturn has brought the housing, hospitality and leisure sectors to their knees and customers are worried about their finances. They have questions, and at a time when many banks and physical offices are closed, they start looking for call centres for answers. In Ireland, for example, banks reported a 400% increase in calls from financial assistance contact centres, including an average of 7,000 calls per day from customers for mortgage problems.
In the current environment, it can be difficult for customer service representatives to navigate the huge amount of phone calls, let alone to distinguish the fraudsters from the real customers asking for these transactions. Biometric technology can help.
Keeping crooks at bay
Biometrics can be the answer for organizations that want to protect both their employees and their customers from attackers during a global pandemic and beyond. The most advanced technologies can also enable organizations to identify and prioritize people over 65 based on the sound of their voice.
As today’s consumers tend to interact with business through digital channels, the elderly are at greater risk of becoming victims of fraud as criminals take advantage of current conditions to obtain personal information. These people are not only exploited by aggressive crooks, but in some cases also by people who know them. According to Age UK, in England and Wales an elderly person is the victim of fraud every 40 seconds.
While fraudsters are increasingly able to bypass traditional forms of authentication – such as passwords and one-time PINs – voice biometrics cannot be compromised in the same way. That’s because human voices are unique, like fingerprints. Using advanced algorithms to analyze over 1,000 voice characteristics, the voice biometric technology uses the caller’s voice not only to confirm the identity, but also to protect against hackers.
Behavioral biometry provides another protective layer over voice biometry. This technology measures how someone interacts with a device – how they print, listen and carry or even hold a phone – to find out who they are, who they pretend to be.
By automatically distinguishing between fraudulent and genuine calls, biometric technology becomes essential to protect customers who want to perform digital transactions in these unusual times. They also help protect external call centre agents – usually the weakest link in the cyber security chain – by improving internal security controls and verifying their identity. This prevents fraudsters from stealing their personal information in order to gain wider access to confidential business information.
The future of the fight against fraud
Although many aspects of KOVID-19 remain uncertain, one thing is certain: She changed the business landscape forever. Organisations of all shapes and sizes have had to adapt to survive, creating new opportunities and challenges.
Contact centres have never been such an attractive and profitable target for fraudsters, and customers depend on them more than ever. As such, they need immediate and effective protection, to which biometric technology leads.
Biometric solutions are becoming an important weapon in the fight against KOVID 19 fraud. Their ability to identify customers, agents and fraudsters helps keep the wrong players at bay and ensures that all contact center connections are secure and reliable. By investing in this, companies can help protect themselves and their customers in the current KOVID-19 era and prove in the future that everything beyond that is really important.
Contributions from Brett Beranek, vice president and general director of security and biometrics at Nuance Communications.
insurance fraud during covid-19,fraud prevention during covid-19,fraud risks due to covid-19,deloitte covid-19 fraud