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February 10, 2021 - Claire Zhou

Contact Center Fraud: Key Trends and Challenges for 2021

The contact center’s critical role in communication during the global pandemic has not been overlooked by fraudsters. In fact, according to a recent Aite Group report, contact center fraud losses increased by 36% in 2020 compared to 2018. A third of financial institutions say they don’t know if fraud occurs via their IVR systems, while 37% have seen evidence of this. 

Today, it’s clear that more needs to be done to curtail contact center fraud. And since 65% of FI executives say that customer experience is of the utmost importance, fraud detection and prevention must be done in a way that doesn’t create additional friction for good customers.

Here are some of the key trends and challenges defining contact center fraud in 2021, according to the data:

Higher Call Volumes Translate into More Fraud Cases 

When many physical branches closed as a result of pandemic lockdowns, call center volume skyrocketed, with some FIs seeing as much as a 40% increase. For many, the call center was a key line of communication in serving customers and one of the few ways to ensure business continuity. However, this surge in volume took many contact centers unaware, resulting in inefficiencies and potential gaps for fraud to occur.

This, in part, contributed to the 36% rise in contact center fraud compared to 2018. Also, knowledge-based authentication answers are easily obtained partly because 65% of FIs believe that prioritizing the customer experience is essential. 

Digital Channel Investments Increased Contact Center Fraud Potential

In any time of uncertainty, fraudsters focus their attacks on the weakest link. In this case, the contact center has proven to be the low hanging fruit. Many FIs are doubling down on fraud prevention investments in digital channels. This is logical considering the increased use of these channels by customers.

However, not enough is being invested in contact center fraud, which is often considered a starting point for fraudsters since the information used to commit fraud on other channels can be obtained here. As a result, call centers have been left relatively unprotected.

Combined with a higher call volume and a desire to mitigate friction in the customer experience, these ingredients create a recipe for fraud to thrive. 

Contact Center Fraud Enables Other Forms of Fraud

Contact center fraud can take many forms and purposes, including data mining, resetting PINs, testing accounts, or ordering additional cards for accounts, to name a few. Data leaked through the IVR can help fraudsters refine future attacks and enable fraud in other channels after taking over accounts. 

In today’s multifaceted fraud landscape, it’s clear that one-function solutions are no match for quick-thinking criminals. Investments must be made across the business landscape, not just in digital channels, to ensure a well-rounded approach to fraud detection and prevention. Leaving no gaps in defense will be key in mitigating future fraud cases in 2021 and beyond.

DataVisor’s multi-layered approach to fraud detection and prevention is a better way forward. Combining conventional rules analysis, supervised and unsupervised machine learning, device intelligence, a fraud feature library, and a global intelligence network, DataVisor’s comprehensive fraud detection solution leaves no stone unturned in the fight against contact center fraud. 

Want to see it in action? Watch DataVisor fight fraud. Get a free demo now.

Photo of Claire Zhou
about Claire Zhou
Claire is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at DataVisor with over 5 years of marketing experience in security and fin-tech. She is passionate about empowering enterprise customers with AI-based solutions. Her expertise spans data analytics, cybersecurity, and fraud prevention. Claire has an MBA from UCLA.
Photo of Claire Zhou
about Claire Zhou
Claire is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at DataVisor with over 5 years of marketing experience in security and fin-tech. She is passionate about empowering enterprise customers with AI-based solutions. Her expertise spans data analytics, cybersecurity, and fraud prevention. Claire has an MBA from UCLA.