What you need to know about the government’s new fraud taskforce

Recent research from the Office of National Statistics has shown that five million frauds occur every year across England and Wales, costing the UK around £26bn. This needs to change. Home Secretary Teresa May announced last month that a new taskforce, consisting of police, banks and government officials would be set up to help combat this. This taskforce has a mandate to compile a list of the UK’s 10 most prevalent fraudsters, raising awareness of the steps people can take to prevent fraud and identifying weaknesses in computer systems and processes which criminals are exploiting. This is a step in the right direction to tackling this issue and should be welcomed wholeheartedly by financial organisations and enterprises.

Phone fraud: Your next priority?

Unlike cybersecurity, which is well publicised at events such as Safer Internet Day, phone fraud is a topic which has lacked the same levels of attention. Improving phone security has traditionally been overlooked as organisations have focused instead on their cyber defences. Online security has matured in the last decade, with defences growing stronger and attacks becoming more sophisticated. Phone security has lacked the same sophistication and as such, attention and education amongst employees needed to protect customers.

When you think about why this is, it is a lot easier to trick a person than a machine, particularly when call centre agents are tasked with offering an exceptional customer experience that hinges on the length of call queues and verification. Fraudsters are taking full advantage of this. Techniques such as social engineering have made it easier to commit fraud theft. Those responsible are using this form of attack where they know businesses have their lowest defence in security – the phone. We are all guilty of sharing too much information about ourselves online, whether this is our mother’s maiden name or date of birth, and fraudsters are using this data to create profiles that spoof businesses into thinking they are genuine customers.

Phoneprinting™ technology

This new initiative has the issue of fraud as priority. But to really tackle fraud, there must be the right level of attention across all platforms to combat each line of attack. Phoneprinting™ technology can then help organisations defend themselves on what was once the most neglected and exposed channel. By using multiple layers of security it can identify specific components about each call quickly, such as the location a call is coming from, the device, whether it’s a mobile or landline, and whether the phone has been used to call the company before. Combining these can aid in detecting fraudulent activity before it becomes an issue while still delivering a great customer experience. It’s a win-win.

Matt Peachey, Vice President & General Manager, EMEA at Pindrop