Preventing fraud in the contact center

3 minute read, posted on 02/13/2019, by Peter Mullen


Ever wonder what’s on your customers’ minds? According to a recent Gallup poll, in the U.S., more people are worried about fraud and having their personal information stolen than being victims of crimes, such as burglary/mugging, terrorism, or even sexual assault.

As businesses introduce innovative ways for customers to open accounts and/or transact online, new behavior patterns are being created. As a result, old benchmarks used to detect irregular activity in the call center that might signal fraud are no longer reliable.

Vulnerabilities from outside – and within

The availability of personal information sets up contact centers as a target for fraud. In the financial services industry alone, it’s estimated that one in every 2,500 calls into the contact center are fraudulent. Moreover, incidents can originate from both outside and within an organization. An individual might call in and phish customers’ personal information, for example, or a rogue agent might try to capture information for his/her own use. “Research shows that by 2020, 75 percent of organizations will sustain a targeted, cross-channel fraud attack with the contact center as the primary point of compromise,” says Tricia Phillips, a former cybersecurity analyst with Gartner.

Companies are exploring how technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can help predict and prevent attacks on customer data across all channels and sources – online, in the call center, and from employees spread across all parts of their organizations. Some tools and strategies that Gartner and other experts recommend to mitigate contact center fraud include:

Phone printing: This works by gathering as much information on each caller – such as type of phone used, location, background noise, and whether a number has been “spoofed” (given a fake caller ID) – and adding the fraudulent phone prints to a data repository. This technique identifies high-risk calls and also helps speed up calls for legitimate customers.

Voice Biometrics: Often used in combination with phone printing, this technology analyzes and records in real time characteristics such as a callers’ tone, choice of words and patterns of speech. This is useful in preventing a fraudster from assuming someone else’s identity and convincing a contact center agent to mistakenly surrender account information.

Central Fraud Analytics: A customer’s journey today to accomplish a single task might involve several channels – say, logging into an account, then a webchat, followed by a call. Feeding contact center behavior into an analytics or even rule-based fraud detection platform can identify anomalies for a given customer or in comparison to a peer group to detect fraud.

As part of our initiative to stem fraud in the contact center, VXI is developing tools that systematically detect and help prevent the instance of fraud in the call center. Through a combination of tracking and analytics our goal is to provide real-time analysis and audit – to not only stem fraud risk, but to actually catch fraud while it’s occurring, so we can help our clients add to their own compliance/risk mitigation strategy.

Data breaches of all sorts will continue to push businesses and the security industry toward practices and technology that provide customers with the secure experiences that they deserve. VXI looks forward to be part of that evolution.

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