Over the past few months during the pandemic lockdown, as digital transactions boomed, fraudulent activity and identity theft did as well.
As easy as digital transactions made our lives during the pandemic, it also became easier for cybercriminals to find personal information in just a few seconds on the “dark web” or breach data on company sites that we’ve come to rely on and trust.
Through the pandemic, a fraudulent practice that received a lot of press was unemployment fraud. Using a consumer’s information, cyber criminals registered for unemployment insurance benefits through the state’s Unemployment Development Department system. The fraudsters then secured the money via a prepaid account service and mobile app and were able to cash out and take the money, perpetuating the fraud.
The practice grew so rapidly that in July, the FBI released fraud warnings and several states, including Maryland, that had a massive 500 million unemployment claim scheme, and financial institutions and merchants became seriously concerned over the rise in fraudulent activity. Did fraud accelerate more due to the pandemic, or did the pandemic offer new opportunities never explored before for fraudsters to act?
“One of the things we set up as a company is the Visa Payment Fraud Disruption program to protect our customers at all times. We are constantly looking at trends and patterns, and if we see something that looks fraudulent, we can use our tools and shut down the activity pretty quickly and stop the transaction from happening. We conduct real-time monitoring with our merchant partners and banks and investigate anything that looks suspicious.” Following are Lemberger’s insight during a phone interview with ATM Marketplace… Retail Customer Experience