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Using AI to Detect Fraudulent Transactions could be Powerful
Written by Karl Kaluza
on January 17, 2024

Call center takeover account (ATO) fraud occurs when someone contacts a call center and fraudulently gains access to someone else's account. This often occurs through social engineering, where the fraudster has the right amount of someone else's information to fool the call center representative into believing they are the account owner.

ATOs often occur at financial centers. You might think financial call centers would have some of the highest security, but that is not always the case. Once a fraudster has access to someone's account, they can perform many of the same actions the owner can perform. These actions include downloading personal data and transactions, changing bank account info, and transferring funds to the fraudster's account. Locking out the real user is the most common action fraudsters in ATOs take.

TransUnion recently conducted a survey of ATOs at financial call centers. Here is what they found:

Change in financial call center fraud attacks from 2021–2022:

Decreased = 0%
Stayed about the same = 10%
Increased 0%-10% = 10%
Increased 11%-25% = 30%
Increased 26%-50% = 20%

Categories above 50% remained at +10%. 90% of respondents said ATOs had increased over the above time period. 20% of respondents said attacks had increased by 80% over this period.

Call center fraud prevention starts before a rep ever has the chance to speak to a fraudster. This includes voice verification, entering critical personal financial information, and multi-factor identification.

Once the fraudsters reach the agent, training becomes extremely important. Agents should be able to spot red flags when asking knowledge base authentication (KBA) questions. Agents should also be knowledgeable of security protocols that the company has implemented.

Services such as call center as a service (CCaaS) applications and TransUnion TruValidate™ can help increase the probability of identifying fraudsters in real-time.

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