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Who are the fraudsters of 2024?

Eric Smith Jan 19, 2024 3:29:20 PM
Who are the fraudsters of 2024

As ICT and IoT advance, the financial sector faces evolving, sophisticated frauds. These fraudulent schemes are continuously evolving, keeping pace with technological advancements, posing significant challenges to both fintech startups and established banking institutions. The industry is now at a juncture, facing unprecedented forms of deception that have the potential to penetrate even the most fortified security systems. This reality highlights the need for a keen, proactive grasp of emerging financial fraud trends and types, urging vigilance, innovation, and strategic adaptation to stay ahead.

Imagine waking up to news that your financial institution has fallen victim to a scam so advanced, it bypassed all existing safeguards. The reputation you've spent years building is now under scrutiny. Your customers are anxious, and stakeholders demand answers. This is the harsh reality of the new age of digital and payment fraud.

But what if there was a way to stay ahead of these threats? To not only understand but also effectively counteract these evolving scams? This is where knowledge becomes your first line of defence. Let's delve into the latest fraudulent trends and how they are reshaping the landscape of digital finance and payment systems.

Four fraud types to keep an eye on

Generative AI (GenAI) Fraud

The introduction of Generative AI has been a double-edged sword. While it has numerous beneficial applications, it has also become a tool for crafting sophisticated frauds. Fraudsters are using GenAI to create synthetic identities and deep fakes. AI algorithms help Frausters generate fake but realistic-looking personal information, such as names, social security numbers, and birth dates, to create entirely new, non-existent identities. Fraudsters then use these synthetic identities to apply for credit cards, loans, or other financial services. As these identities often pass traditional verification checks, it becomes challenging for financial institutions to detect and prevent such frauds, leading to significant financial losses and security breaches. Deepfakes in financial fraud involve creating fake audio or video to impersonate key individuals, like a high level executive or client, for fraudulent activities such as unauthorised fund transfers or sensitive data access. These sophisticated attacks deceive employees and bypass security protocols, posing serious threats to financial integrity and security.

APP (Authorised Push Payment) Fraud

APP fraud has taken the main stage, and is rapidly spreading globally. For instance, in 2023, 77% of APP frauds, amounting to over £239 million, occurred online. This scam involves duping individuals or businesses into transferring money to fraudster-controlled accounts. The fraudsters' tactics are so persuasive that victims are convinced they are conducting legitimate transactions. The rising complexity of these scams, partly driven by the adoption of Generative AI technologies, makes APP fraud one of the most challenging threats for the financial industry to tackle, highlighting the urgent need for advanced security measures and consumer awareness.

Money Mules and Mule Accounts

A critical yet often overlooked component of financial fraud is the use of money mules and mule accounts. These accounts, frequently set up using synthetic identities, are essential for the laundering of ill-gotten funds. By targeting and closing these mule accounts quickly, financial institutions can disrupt significant portions of the financial crime network. However, identifying these accounts is increasingly complex, as fraudsters continuously refine their tactics to evade detection.

Fraud in Instant Payments

The shift towards instant payment systems has opened up new avenues for fraudsters. As mentioned in the Fraud Prevention in Real-Time Payment Systems whitepaper the speed and convenience of these systems are attractive, but dangerous, as they leave little to no time for traditional fraud detection methods to react. Instant payment systems require equally fast and sophisticated fraud detection solutions that can operate in real-time without hindering the transaction flow. 

The Road Ahead

For financial institutions and fintechs, adapting to these new forms of digital and payment fraud is not just about implementing advanced technology; it's about understanding the tactics of fraudsters. Proactive and advanced fraud detection is a necessity. This is where solutions like BPC's SmartVista Fraud Management come into play. 

SmartVista helps you detect and prevent fraud in real time, and offers an open framework that allows for easy integration with your current infrastructure. Our solution is designed to complement and enhance your existing systems, providing a layer of security without disrupting your operational flow. Powered by advanced machine learning technology,SmartVista adapts to emerging fraud patterns, utilising machine learning algorithms to stay ahead of sophisticated fraudsters. Financial institutions can analyse real-time transactions and monitor payments with enhanced accuracy, from simple location checks to complex behavioural validations.