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PINDROP BLOG

Fraudsters Are Exploiting Cash Sharing Apps

Cash sharing apps are increasing in popularity for sending and receiving money. As many as 29% of North American transactions originate from a digital wallet with an estimated 64 million mobile payment users in the US1. With these apps, users can create a free account that will then allow them to instantly send or receive money from other users within the same app. Once you download the app, you choose a unique username. Users can also be found using the phone number or email address tied to their account. 

At Pindrop, we are proud to be a part of the Atlanta community where we are headquartered. Unfortunately, one of our fellow Atlantans recently became a fraud victim2. A marriage and family therapist, who worked hard for years to build a solid financial foundation, lost $15,000 to hackers. She awoke one morning to incessant phone calls and learned the next day that her phone was spoofed. Hackers were able to empty her bank account using a cash-sharing app. 

Can Caller-ID Be Trusted?

In the past, phone systems were trusted. People assumed that a Caller-ID really did tell who was calling you. Banks even allowed you to activate your credit card by simply calling from your registered phone. Fraudsters are now exploiting the past trustworthiness of the phone channel to their advantage. They are using it as an entry point for compromising online services by requesting password resets for accounts over the phone to undermine web authentication.

The rapid change in the phone ecosystem, driven by technological advances and deregulation, has led to a point where it has become extremely hard to figure out who really is calling us on the phone. There are readily available tools for spoofing Caller-ID and the related Automated Number Identification (ANI). New technologies like Voice over IP (VoIP) have made it possible to craft Internet-style attacks over the telephone. Robocalling can deliver fraudulent messages to your voicemail like e-mail spam in your inbox. With Caller-ID spoofing, you do not know if it really is your bank at the other end of the call. Also, when someone calls your bank’s customer contact center, the agent handling the call can no longer assume that it is you because the Caller-Id is your phone number.

How Do Contact Centers Fight Back Against Phone Spoofing?

To see through these fraudster tactics, you need resilient technology that detects the techniques fraudsters use to hide their true number or impersonate a legitimate caller. In addition, this technology needs to identify multiple callers associated with the same phoneprint, allowing enterprises to detect and track fraud rings. 

Need help with authenticating legitimate callers quickly and accurately, reducing call handle times, enabling personalization, and improving customer experience? Pindrop can help. Contact us…


References

1Best, Raynor de; statista.com, “Mobile payments in the United States – Statistics and Facts” (https://www.statista.com/topics/982/mobile-payments/), November 10, 2020, statista.com

2Gray, Justin; WSB-TV, “Hackers targeting cash sharing apps Zelle, CashApp and Venmo. Here’s what you can do to stay safe (https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/money-sharing-apps-have-become-major-target-criminals-channel-2-investigation-finds/JOJDMAR565H77NMNGM5EMEHGJE/), May 3, 2021, wsbtv.com