Call center fraud is an expensive problem — and I’d be surprised if you’ve heard about it.
It happens when fraudsters manipulate call center agents on the telephone by pretending to be someone else, even when they lack the proper identification details. Beyond this problem, large-scale hacks of databases are providing criminals the means to contact call centers with seemingly legitimate details
According to research by Pindrop Security, which specializes in weeding out imposters who call banks and other financial institutions about credit cards and accounts, call center fraud rates jumped in 2016 alone from 1 in every 2,000 callers to 1 in every 937.
Nearly half the crooks used VoIP internet lines and another 43% called from wireless phones serviced by telecoms.
Advanced security measures are now coming to the market to help call centers identify callers and detect when they are being scammed. One of the new measures developed by security firms is based on a tech called phone printing.
Phone printing analyzes multiple factors around an incoming call to determinate whether a caller is legitimate. They include where the call originates, the identity of the carrier and information about the device used by a caller.
Every incoming caller can unwittingly provide a security team with masses of information, even when the caller is trying to impersonate someone else.
The advantage of phone printing is that it speeds up the caller authentication process. Legitimate callers can already have a high degree of authentication confidence assigned to them before they even connect with the call center.
Because most call centers now record calls, security personnel can use neural networks – a series of algorithms patterned after the functioning of the human brain – to authenticate the voices of previously recorded customers.
Neural networks can flag imposters trying to disguise their voices or use background noises to camouflage them. The artificial intelligence-assisted technology picks up other telltale signs of bad actors, for example, the use of bots to place calls.
New technology makes call screening easier and more efficient. A Pindrop product called Passport automatically screens callers and disconnects fraudsters before they even manage to speak to a call center agent.
Since many imposters seem to be using VoIP systems, Passport actually makes it easier to block them, because VoIP calls provide more intelligence than they may realize.
Pindrop is finding a ready market for its technology. The company says it protects more than 650 million calls a year. For instance, Passport was recently installed at a major bank, helping to reduce the time spent authenticating customers.
Call center fraud is not going away. According to research from Aite Group, 72% of executives believe the problem will worsen, with an estimated $4 billion of counterfeit card fraud moving into the phone channel.
- Contact center fraud is becoming an increasingly expensive problem for many companies. The trend is on the rise and rogue callers are becoming far more sophisticated.
- More companies are now turning to advanced technology to protect themselves and their customers.
- Use of the cloud and neural networks sit at the heart of more sophisticated detection systems that can analyze hundreds of different factors associated with a caller and can even remember many of the unique characteristics of individual customers.
- As automatic authentication systems become more sophisticated, it should also be possible to reduce the time spent trying to identify customers who are calling in. This will make call centers more efficient and mean customers spend less time having to answer numerous questions.
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