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article imageWarning: Impersonation scams have doubled in a year Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 17, 2021 in Technology
There has been an upward shift in impersonation fraud online, targeting different brands including financial products. A new level of awareness and sophistication is required to combat such threats.
The Daily Telegraph has revealed that impersonation scams doubled in 2020, preying vulnerable consumers by “pretending to be a trusted authority”. This finding presents a new risk into 2021 and it comes at a time where consumers are relying more on phone and digital communications from almost all brands and organisations due to lockdown and social distancing restrictions.
In response to this news Frederik Mennes, Director of Product Security at OneSpan, tells Digital Journal that this latest threat adds further pressure to cybersecurity systems and represents another area for people to be concerned about.
Mennes states: “It’s concerning to see impersonation cases figures rise so dramatically over the past year and that trusted brands are being spoofed by fraudsters to lure customers into a false sense of security. Due to the pandemic these brands have had little to no face-to-face interactions because of social distancing and lockdown restrictions, so the vast majority communications with customers have been online or over the phone."
In terms of preventative actions, it is Mennes' recommendation that: "To combat these attacks, consumers must make a habit of always checking the senders email address. If the email address seems suspicious even the slightest, they should not click on any links. Furthermore, they should know that no trusted organisation would ever ask them to part with money or their sensitive information via email, SMS or phone. Customers can always contact a company directly to confirm whether a piece of communication is legitimate or potentially fraudulent."
There are particular concerns for banks and financial institutions stemming from the latest threat. Here such organizations: "need to have dynamic fraud solutions that analyse vast amounts of data with machine learning and advanced risk analytics to identify abnormal user behaviour in real time. Solutions that are capable of automatically operating at a lower level of trust during times of increased risk are best equipped to help banks and financial instiutions respond to the fast-paced nature of fraud during events like this to save customers money, even when they’ve already been duped by cyber criminals.”
More about Scam, Impersonation fraud, Cybersecurity
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