There has been a sharp increase in the amount of call center fraud year-over-year, according to data collected by researchers at Pindrop Labs in Atlanta: They measured fraud rates of 1 in 937 calls in 2016, compared to 1 in 2000 calls in 2015, an effective rise of 113%.
Examining more than 500 million calls analyzed by its Phoneprinting technology, Pindrop has identified three key weaknesses in call centers that have helped to fuel this rise in fraudulent calling.
Last year the total volume of fraudulent calls placed to call centers hit new peaks. Pindrop says one of the main drivers has been that attackers are improving their techniques and becoming more adept at social engineering that helps them to bypass defense systems. Physical and digital security improvements have also made it harder for them to attack other channels.
New spoofing and voice distortion technologies are also giving fraudsters more options as they attack via phone.
“The sophistication of the fraudsters, the expansion of criminal rings, heightened security in other channels and the amount of information available on the dark web is making the call center the easiest fraud target in virtually every industry,” explains Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO and co-founder of Pindrop. “We see these attacks first hand and we are able to help some of the biggest banks, insurance providers and retail companies reduce fraud exposure and provide a better authentication experience for their valued customers.”
• Fraudsters now have the ability to spoof caller ID, using applications such as Skype or Google Voice to hide their identity and location.
• Criminals have also been able to abuse IVR (interactive voice recognition) systems to try to reset victims’ PINs, test account numbers, or find more information on the target.
• Customer service personnel are dealing with hundreds or thousands of legitimate calls for every ‘bad’ call: while they focus on resolving customer issues more effectively, the risk of falling prey to a scammer is high, as is the potential downside if an agent mistakes a legitimate customer for a fraudster.