Coronavirus is continuing to impact several lives of people and the economy worldwide; fraudsters are busily engaged in phishing and scamming mayhem. Both coronavirus and coronavirus scams can affect your health and finance. While the world is trying to deal with the threat of COVID19, cyber-criminals are coming with innovative ways to perform sophisticated frauds based on the continuing COVID – 19. Across the globe, people are working remotely with limited security features as opposed to working in the office. Everyone is in quarantine and following the social distance protocol. Owing to which everyone is shopping online for their daily needs. It is quite evident now customer shopping behaviors worldwide have changed and will persist in doing so in the times ahead. Doubtlessly, cybercriminals will keep following the trends of consumers and adapt their plans appropriately.

In most companies, fraud is identified post it happens; it’s imperative for financial organizations with the rise in technology, fraud detection, and mitigation takes place in real-time. They should adopt a real-time fraud management solution that can be tailored in accordance with their requirements. As online shopping continues to grow, even the security of online channels should become stronger and more advanced. Detecting frauds at a very early stage at the same time optimizing the customer experience should be the motto for banks. Various enterprises are plunging into a multifaceted method to combat and alleviate frauds. Acting recklessly with a haste plan can cause more damage than any good in the current COVID-19 situation.

Several types of fraud are hitting both the merchants and the consumers in these difficult times. Banks should conduct further authentication steps to access data, also adapt the limit for any fraud ranking models, enabling more false positives which support in preventing frauds. Banks or financial organizations should comply with regulatory compliance to alleviate risks. With a swift system in place, banks can be agile and smoothly alter algorithms or update models to safeguard their customers’ security.

Presently frauds are majorly attacking Business Email Compromise (BEC), Phishing, Gift Card Fraud, fake and fraudulent sites, eCommerce Fraud, Account Fraud, and such others. As It is easier to get distracted at home or be under different stress; hence such an audience becomes a soft target, and most people are falling prey to such fraudulent activities

COVID-19 phishing attacks – It started to rise in January 2020 and by the end of March 2020 it had a sudden surge. Most of the phishing attacks comprised of brand spoofing, scams, fraud emails, and business email compromise (BEC).

How can Banks Combat & Mitigate the COVID-19 Fraud Attacks

Disclaimer: Actual Numbers in the graph may vary as these are approximate figures.

Preventive measures to avoid frauds

Incorporate ML and AI-powered fraud detection solution

With the support of ML and AI, the fraud solution can consolidate data from all internal and external channels and analyze historical data, enabling the risk model to detect anomalies and abnormal behavioral patterns. Hence one of the best practices recommended is to integrate fraud management software coupled with intelligent automation, and advanced AI and ML.

Secondly, some fraud solution experts use risk scoring, device fingerprinting along ML and AI approach for detecting anomalies in payments and combating fraud attacks. The ML models can spot the probability of HTTP referrer is a phishing site and how to react to the phishing scams scenario. Sophisticated risk engine incorporated with AI and ML continuously monitors transactions and detects various fraud patterns along with the actual series of user behavior and continuously monitors and scrutinizes data. Whenever anomalies or fraud attacks happen, frauds can be detected by the fraud management solution in real-time, suggesting enhanced fraud protection layers.

In this rapidly evolving dynamics, the financial domain is facing a radical metamorphosis and customers expect banks to deliver a seamless experience. Smart banks advise today a comprehensive fraud approach demanding the intervention of human touch with sophisticated technology. Hence banks are embracing new technologies which help in flagging suspicious transactions and reducing false positives thereby minimizing losses and optimizing the customer experience.

Embracing multi-faceted and multi-layered security approach 

A lot of sensitive information of entities and companies exists with banks. If hackers get access to such sensitive information, then the probability is higher to initiate a breach or fraud attacks. To combat such situations with stronger performance and response, it is becoming crucial for banks to embrace a multi-layered approach to cyber-safety.

Financial organizations must spend in data-ingestion from multiple channels enabling them to make a sound decision on fraud attacks and fraudulent activities. Integrating a series of valid tools like multi-layered approach, biometrics, behavioral analysis supports in minimizing frauds to a greater extent. It also helps in offering the right security level in accordance with the fraud levels.

Enhanced Protection for mobile payments

Many of us use mobile phones to shop online and pay through various channels and gateways. This is the reason cybercriminals are aiming the mobile platform in parallel with others. Whenever any person clicks on any unknown links or downloads any attachments, malware, trojans or virus can get downloaded which could steal sensitive and personal data, which may further lead to the malfunction of websites.

Hence banks should implement multifactor authentication, additional account verification, end-to-end cryptography, fingerprinting device, providing real-time messages, alerts, and emails, proper banking mobile application, investigating behavior analysis, and using secure access with safe online documentation. This can help in monitoring financial transactions continuously, ensuring safety, and blocking fraud threats.

How can banks combat and mitigate the COVID 19 Fraud attacks1

Fraud Risk Management Solution

The fraud management solutions should help banks to safeguard from fraud attacks, detect and mitigate frauds and anomalies.

For an effective fraud management solution, you should bear the below pointers in mind –

  1. Can the fraud management software be integrated with the prevailing software model to enhance the fraud mitigation layer?
  2. Does the fraud management platform support multiple payment channels across different geographical locations?
  3. Is your fraud management solution, providing a deep insight into model analytics or it is just merely a Black Box?
  4. Does your fraud management program meet your expectations and appetite?
  5. Is it possible for your fraud management solution to ingest data from any channel during the customer lifecycle?
  6. Is your fraud management software coupled with intelligent automation, advanced ML, and AI?
  7. Is the fraud management solution able to detect frauds, trigger the right alerts, provide the right investigation, offer recovery or backup plans with appropriate communications?
    Is it improving the overall operational efficiency?

In difficult and uncertain times like this, we all are going through a tough phase. We are compelled to stay in isolation and work from home for our safety and protection. We must move slowly, watch out for minute details and refrain from taking hasty decisions. Banks should monitor coronavirus linked scams and implement a good fraud management solution to stay ahead of frauds. Stay vigilant and Be wise.