Call centers hive of fraud activity – Pindrop report

Pindrop’s seventh annual Call Center Fraud Report details the increasing frequency of call center fraud. The research summarizes data gleaned from more than 500 million calls protected by Pindrop’s Phoneprinting technology.

Attackers are growing more skilled in social engineering techniques which help them bypass defenses. Fraudsters are also migrating to call centers as other sectors beef up their defenses and they take advantage of spoofing and voice distortion techniques.

“The sophistication of the fraudsters, the expansion of criminal rings, heightened security in other channels, and the amount of information available on the dark web is making the call center the easiest fraud target in virtually every industry,” Pindrop cofounder and CEO Vijay Balasubramaniyan said. “We see these attacks first hand and we are able to help some of the biggest banks, insurance providers, and retail companies reduce fraud exposure and provide a better authentication experience for their valued customers.”

According to the report call centers have three key weaknesses. Applications like Skype and Google Voice allow people to hide their identities while spoofing techniques can hide location, leaving that data as reliable as email addresses. Fraudsters also manipulate interactive voice recognition systems to reset victim PIN numbers, test account defenses and find more information.

Human error plays a role. Given the pace of many call centers, agents are focused on quick resolution so they may mistake a con artist for a legitimate caller.

“Pindrop’s Phoneprinting technology helps identify, locate and authenticate phone devices uniquely from the call audio, thereby detecting fraudulent calls as well as verifying legitimate callers,” Pindrop Labs director David Dewey said. “Implementing the Pindrop solution helps solve the technical challenges, allowing your reps to focus on customer service instead of playing detective, and saves operational costs and reduces exposure for your entire organization.”

Historical Rate of Fraud

2013 2014 2015 2016 ’16 to ’15
(y-o-y growth)
All Contact Centers 1 in 2,900 1 in 2,200 1 in 2,000 1 in 937 113%
Bank Fraud Rate 1 in 2,650 1 in 1,400 1 in 867 61%
Brokerage Fraud Rate 1 in 3,000 1 in 2,700 1 in 1,761 53%
Financial Institution Fraud Rate 1 in 2,100 1 in 1,600 1 in 895 79%
Life Insurance Fraud Rate 1 in 12,000 1 in 4,780 151%