Close this search box.

Written by: Mike Yang

Call Center Representatives (CSRs) often have a bad reputation when it comes to fraud control. Many banks and financial institutions rely on CSRs as a first line of defense against phone fraud. CSRs are taught to use Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) questions to verify callers are who they say they are. In theory, they will stump the impostors based on the response to questions like “What is your mother’s maiden name?”
To put it simply, these methods of caller verification don’t work. Information about victims can be gleaned from social media sites or social engineered out of them via the phone. Worse yet, the organizations that hold all the answers have been compromised, as discussed by Gartner in this report.
Financial institution call centers are losing an average of $0.57 to fraud for each incoming call. For some large-scale call centers, this can add up to ten million dollars in fraud loss annually. Even so, it’s unfair to blame the CSRs for failing to stop these attacks.
Let’s consider how phone fraud looks from their point of view. Pindrop’s research shows that one in every 2,900 calls to a call center is fraudulent. That’s a big number from a fraud specialist’s point of view, but for most CSRs, that represents maybe one fraud call per month.
Making matters more difficult, fraudsters make an average of five reconnaissance calls to a financial institution before attempting to transfer money. They might request a password reset, address, or email change to lock down an account prior to complete takeover. This means, the average CSR can expect to encounter only one or two calls a year with a fraudster requesting a fraudulent money transfer.
CSRs spend the vast majority of their time dealing with legitimate customers. They have a clear goal: provide the best customer service possible. Being forced to verify customers with KBA questions means that a CSR’s initial contact with a caller is to challenge them, rather than to find out how they can be of service.

Banks and financial institutions must allow CSRs to focus on customer service, and take back the responsibility of fraud detection. (Click to Tweet)

Pindrop Security’s Fraud Detection System (FDS) identifies call spoofing and other attempts to defraud financial institutions by providing a highly accurate call risk score. It verifies location and call type and matches it against Caller ID or ANI data to identify spoofing. It also creates a unique phoneprintTM for the caller and compares the phoneprint to a database of known fraud rings and repeat fraudsters regardless of the real or spoofed number they are using.
CSRs play an important role in providing easy to access customer service for financial institutions. Banks that implement a fraud detection system allow CSRs to focus on providing a high level of friendly service, improving customer satisfaction and retention.