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PINDROP BLOG

COVID-19: Make Sure You’re Protected from Opportunistic Fraudsters

Many are experiencing feelings of uncertainty and fear around the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, these moments of chaos are the ones fraudsters thrive in most, taking advantage of the uncertainty for big payoffs. At the same time, call centers are experiencing new challenges, with call center agents and fraud analysts still adjusting to the remote work lifestyle. This can lead to fraudulent activity falling through the cracks as agents experience a higher volume of calls, while working with fewer screens at home. To ensure you and your customers are protected, we’ve pulled together a few tips for both individuals and organizations to ramp up fraud prevention during this time.

For individuals looking to protect their personal information, it’s about taking small steps toward better account security. Fraudsters often use phone and email phishing to obtain your sensitive personal information in order to target call centers with fraudulent transactions and account takeover attacks. To prevent email and other online phishing, never share personal information, click suspicious links or download potentially harmful attachments in emails if you don’t recognize the sender. Over the phone, if a customer service representative reaches out to you, hang up and call them back on the number provided on the company’s website, and don’t share personal information with anyone until you have verified they are who they say they are.

Companies should follow these steps as well, and encourage employees to practice extra caution with both their personal and work email accounts and phones. But there are other steps companies should be taking as well. Particularly for those industries that might be at high risk for fraud – such as banking and insurance – it’s about ensuring that employees can do their jobs safely and securely from home. A few steps to consider:

  • To improve online security, ensure all employees are using multi-factor authentication tools. For added security, you may also want to consider using a VPN service to ensure network security while employees are home.
  • In terms of fraud prevention, focus on fraud that is happening right now. If a fraudulent transaction took place yesterday, it is already too late – the fraudster has already gotten away with it. But you still have a chance to prevent future fraud, so focus efforts there. 
  • Watch out for any suspicious behaviors that could indicate fraudulent activity. If something seems off, it probably is. Watch out for fraudsters trying to take advantage of the situation, impersonating customers with emotional stories to try to pull at an agent’s heartstrings in order to push through fraudulent transactions. Additionally, large wire transfers or card transactions originating from a new country could be indicators of fraud, since most people aren’t out buying homes or vacationing out of the country right now (we hope). 
  • For companies with call centers, consider adopting fraud prevention and identity verification solutions, such as Pindrop’s Passport and Protect. Passport, our authentication solution, authenticates customers seamlessly, saving an average of 44 seconds per call when compared to traditional KBA authentication. Protect offers enhanced fraud prevention, using voice devices and behavior to detect fraudulent activity. Combined, they ensure 360-degree protection to ensure limited fraudulent activity falls through the cracks.

Pindrop is here to help guard you and your customers against opportunistic fraudsters. Contact us today to learn more about our authentication and fraud prevention solutions.