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January 25, 2024 - Greg Oprendek

The Transformative Impact of Generative AI for Fraudsters and Fraud Fighters

Picture checking your texts or email to see a message from your bank. They tell you that you’re owed a refund for a fraudulent transaction. The branding looks correct, the writing is in clear, customer-service-approved language. Even more assuring, it offers step-by-step directions on how to claim this refund. Because the design, wording, and innocuous situation all seem to check out, you might trust this is a safe message. But in reality, it’s a scam—and a very well-disguised one thanks to the help of Generative AI.

Just a few years ago, phishing emails and financial frauds like these were somewhat obvious to spot. We knew the signs to look for: poor grammar and spelling, no branding, unusual message formatting—all stuck out like a sore thumb.

Today, fraudsters have the power of Generative AI-powered tools like ChatGPT and Google Gemini to correct those mistakes. Other Generative AI tools let them create realistic images and email designs that can fool even savvy users. What’s more, deep learning has created ways for fraudsters to bypass traditional fraud prevention measures using deepfakes, increasing account takeovers and application frauds.

In the intricate dance between technological advancement and criminal ingenuity, businesses find themselves in a constant struggle to stay one step ahead of fraudsters. Facing an increase in dangerous attacks from an army of machines with fraudsters at the helm, fraud fighters have one strong defense: fighting fire with fire. Generative AI has transformed fraud detection and prevention even more than it has enabled fraudsters, unlocking new levels of efficiency, detection, and reach for fraud teams to catch criminals.

To learn how AI keeps the good guys ahead of new sophisticated fraud attacks, we need to explore how both fraudsters and fraud fighters use AI, and what the future likely holds for both.

generative ai fraud

Generative AI: Financial Fraudsters’ Favorite New Tool

In machine learning, Generative AI refers to AI models built to produce an output that resembles human-made content. As the discourse around AI since the launch of ChatGPT shows, this incredible technology has wide positive applications across countless industries and situations. But fraudsters see its potential in duping traditional fraud prevention systems and conning good customers.

Natural language processing, the technology powering Generative AI’s ability to produce natural, human-sounding text, is key for fraudsters to run phishing scams and application frauds.

Deepfake technology is so advanced it can manipulate video and audio to create seemingly authentic content that tricks voice and image verification software. Deepfake tech is already so advanced it has regulators worried it could fool KYC verifications, making the authentication far less trustworthy.

Using an army of bots, fraudsters can misappropriate AI to automate large-scale identity theft and social engineering attacks. This makes it even more challenging to identify fraudsters as they can hide among the sea of machines.

The use of AI by fraudsters poses significant challenges. Distinguishing between genuine and AI-generated content is becoming increasingly difficult. This is why it’s essential for individuals and organizations to remain vigilant and adopt robust security measures.

The Evolution of Financial Fraud Detection

On the flip side, AI has revolutionized the world of financial fraud detection. Machine learning algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data in real time. This enables FIs to quickly identify and mitigate new emerging patterns of fraud.

Through both supervised and unsupervised machine learning (ML), AI helps FIs proactively defend against fraud attacks. Unsupervised ML goes beyond risk rules to unveil patterns of fraud that reveal crime rings, the most common way fraudsters operate.

When it comes to Generative AI’s role, there are a few areas it assists fraud fighters. It can generate synthetic datasets that simulate fraud patterns, helping to better train ML fraud detection models. Using its ability to generate human-like responses, Generative AI clears complex data insights, regulatory guidelines, and model outcomes. It improves customer communication as well, with sctions like providing clear transaction rejections explanations.

We know that fraudsters are increasingly relying on deepfakes to trick legacy fraud prevention systems, but Generative AI can tell fake user-generated content from the genuine article. This way it can spot and flag fraudulent messages or fake application data.

The Future of AI in Financial Crime

As ML models and Generative AI continue to improve in both capability and scope, fraud fighters will need to rely on it more as a tool to combat fraud attacks. Because Generative AI and deep learning are accelerating the capabilities of both fraudsters and fraud fighters alike, the future of financial crime will most likely be a battle of the machines.

The more fraud fighters learn now about the capabilities of Generative AI and ML, the better equipped they will be to tackle sophisticated new patterns of fraud. With customer experience-focused transaction methods like real-time payments and mobile banking becoming the norm, fraud is not only happening faster than ever, it’s more complex to spot and mitigate than ever.

Adopting Generative AI tools to keep customers safe and spot fraud attacks before they happen is critical now, and will only continue to be more important as this technology advances.

Where We Go from Here

As AI continues to evolve, a collaborative effort between the FIs, AI-powered fraud platforms, and regulatory bodies will be crucial in ensuring that AI remains a force for good in the fight against financial crime. The double-edged sword of AI in the finance industry underscores the importance of responsible and ethical development, promoting security, and safeguarding our financial systems from fraud rings.

While AI presents both opportunities and challenges in the fight against financial crime, it’s up to us to harness this technology responsibly to ensure a safer and more secure financial landscape for everyone. As a leader in both ML and Generative AI for fraud prevention, DataVisor is proud to be leading the charge against emerging AI-powerd fraud threats with industry-leading risk and fraud prevention. To learn how we do it, set up a time to chat with our team and we’ll give you a personalized demo of our award-winning platform.

about Greg Oprendek
Greg is a passionate digital marketer, avid basketball fan, aspiring fraud expert, and Content Marketing Manager at DataVisor.
about Greg Oprendek
Greg is a passionate digital marketer, avid basketball fan, aspiring fraud expert, and Content Marketing Manager at DataVisor.