Fraud Targets Young and Old: Firms Need Better Tools

Cyber attacks are indiscriminate and identity fraud is a growing concern as it can affect anyone irrespective of who we are, how old or how tech-savvy we are. 

Sometimes fraud statistics throw up surprising insight into the industry. It’s easy to believe, for example, that online fraud is something that tends to affect less tech-savvy older consumers in larger numbers. However, the latest figures from Cifas, a UK-based non-profit fraud prevention organization, show that this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, identity fraud is growing fast among younger people.

Identity fraud

The truth is that attacks are indiscriminate. Fraud is a fast-growing and increasingly sophisticated global problem. As merchants gear up for the busy holiday season, it’s imperative that they look out for adaptable, data-driven platforms that offer a 360-degree view of their customers — arming risk teams with the tools they need to minimize fraud losses.

Fuel for the Fire

The latest piece of industry insight from Cifas records a 24% increase in incidents of under-21-year-olds falling victim to impersonation (or identity) fraud in the first nine months of 2018 versus the same period last year.  Further, the same report records that the largest amount of fraud associated with this age group is related to payment cards (34%). We tend to think of younger generations as being more comfortable with technology. However, digital natives may also have a blind spot in being too trusting of those that come phishing for their personal information and card details. It’s also possible that they’re likely to have a larger online presence than silver surfers, and are therefore potentially more exposed.

The figures come after Cifas claimed UK identity fraud hit an all-time-high last year. These concerns have been mirrored internationally, by Europol. Meanwhile, in the US, e-commerce fraud is said by Experian to have risen twice as fast as sales in 2017. Separate research from analyst Javelin claims 16.7 million US consumers were defrauded last year, up by 8% from 2016.

No matter who you are, how old you are or how tech-savvy, fraud is an ever-present concern. Even if consumers pride themselves on being able to spot phishing attacks and keep their PC and mobile device up-to-date and protected with the latest security software, the scammers may still be able to get hold of their PII and card details. That’s because the companies that store this data may inadvertently feed the fraud inferno by failing to adequately protect it.

What Businesses Need

The bottom line is that the fraud ecosystem is an increasingly complex, sophisticated and resilient network of inter-dependencies, making it almost impossible for law enforcers to make a serious dent in operations. That puts the onus on businesses to find more effective ways to spot and stop fraud attempts at a transactional level.

However, not all tools are created equal. The market is flooded with fraud prevention platforms all claiming to be the answer to your prayers. The best will not rely on a single ‘silver bullet’ technology. Instead, they’ll combine data from multiple internal and external sources, and blend multiple machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to arm fraud teams with the best intelligence there is.

That’s what we offer at Simility. Our platform is adaptable enough to evolve as fraud evolves, offering your analysts that crucial 360-degree customer view. And now having joined the PayPal family, this industry leading approach will be available to millions of merchants around the world.

As the busy holiday season approaches, time is running out to ensure you have the tools you need to cope with the annual increase in fraud.

Learn more  how Simility’s solution can help your organization in the whitepaper, “Adaptive Decisioning Platform – A Primer”. Read now!

Jayan Tharayil

Jayan Tharayil

Jayan Tharayil is Director of PayPal's Risk Service Product. He is responsible for deploying Simility's solution for all its customers. Prior to Simility, Jayan served as Manager, Trust and Safety at Google for over eight years where he built and managed fraud-fighting and abuse prevention teams. He is proficient in working with big data, advanced analytics, statistical models and is a subject matter expert on a variety of online fraud.
Jayan Tharayil