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Written by: Mike Yang

How Phone Fraud by Actresses Damages Customer Trust in Businesses
Breaches and fraud cost businesses their reputations. If you can’t protect your customers’ data – or their money – then how can you expect to earn their trust?
But sometimes keeping customers safe and maintaining operational efficiency can tug the business in opposite directions. In a call centre, the time and resources needed to detect phone fraud can conflict with the goal of reducing call times and overheads.

Fraudsters are an operational drain on the call centre. Attackers often make multiple calls to gather intelligence about potential targets, reset passwords, change mailing addresses or make other account modifications. Not only does this reduce the number of customer service agents able to take legitimate calls – it increases the risk of money going missing and the reputational damage that inevitably follows.

To better understand the different methods used by fraudsters and how those methods sap call centre resources, Pindrop® Labs reviewed more than half a billion calls for fraudulent activity. We discovered that attackers assume a variety of personas, each with unique ways of siphoning off both your time and money.

Your awareness of these methods could be the key to protecting both your customers and your brand.

Introducing the Actress
This female fraudster calls from a service centre on behalf of other people who “do not speak English very well”.

The Actress is so-called because of her use of impressions to con call centre agents. She often switches between being herself and being the ‘actual customer’ on the same call. She’s also able to make herself sound like a man, or even a young boy.

Despite her unusual approach, the Actress has an extremely high hit rate.

Beating fraud without sacrificing efficiency
Trustworthiness as a brand is rapidly becoming predicated on how well organisations can protect their customers’ money and data. A 2016 study found that 75% of UK consumers would stop doing business with an organisation that had suffered a breach.

The Actress is just one of many different types of fraudsters that pose a threat. Any business that loses customer money to fraud faces both reputational damage and the cost of compensating affected customers.

The challenge is to find a means for tackling phone fraud in a way that doesn’t add exorbitant operational costs to the business. The right solution will accelerate the verification process and free up agents to deal with a greater volume of calls, ensuring long-term opex reductions and an increase in call centre efficiency.

What’s more, if businesses are seen to be investing in solutions that protect customers without compromising their experience, there are huge reputational gains to be made.
But first, you need to understand the full scale of the threat fraudsters pose.

Find out about other types of fraudsters targeting businesses, and how to deal with them, in our free 2017 UK Call Centre Fraud Report.