For many companies their call center is hugely important to their business. It’s where orders are placed, problems are solved, services are sold and upgraded and the company’s brand can be defined, for better or worse.
For these reasons and many more a business operating a call center of any kind will usually, quite rightly, spend more than a little time and money on the latest hardware and software needed to make it functional and friendly, as well as on hiring, training and retaining the best employees to staff it. The one thing that lots of companies are not doing right now however is paying enough attention to call center fraud.
Call Center Fraud in the 21st Century
Chances are right now you are protesting at that last sentence. Of course you worry about fraud. You have a system in place to flag those kinds of calls. But do you really? Call center fraud is growing and according to the 2017 Call Center Fraud Report by Pindrop fraudsters are getting far more sophisticated and the depth of the problem is not being as widely understood as it should.
The biggest problem may be the drip fraudsters. These individuals place five or more calls to a call center before even attempting to do something bad. Why? Because they are softening your company up for the ‘sting’.
How Drip Fraudsters Can Manipulate Your Call Center
Drip fraudsters are playing a long game to get their way. In the many calls they make before they execute a fraud they do little things, one at a time. They update and email address, change a pin, reset a security question. After enough time and increased control, the fraudulent caller can then freely make as many transactions or charges to the account as they wish without raising too much suspicion. Some even strike up relationships with agents in smaller call centers to make themselves even less suspicious.
In fact, according to the Pindrop report, the vulnerabilities to this kind of fraud in any call center can be broken down into four basic categories:
Technical – Not only can callers hide or change their phone numbers – making caller IDs ineffective – but they can also even use tools to modify their voices, meaning that a phone number is now just as open to manipulation as an IP address. IN addition, often IVR systems are the easiest to spoof, so things like changing an address or password may not even call for human assistance, something fraudsters love.
Human – The very reasons that a call center employee may be one of a business’ superstar employees may be the things that help drip fraudsters do their work. The very best call center employees solve problems while keeping customers and their bosses happy. Most of the time that’s a great thing, but for a fraudster it’s an opportunity to play on that desire to help that allows them to do their thing.
Organizational – Most call centers operate on one main principle; get calls handled as quickly and effectively as possible. Many employees are not trained or equipped to spot and handle a fraudulent caller.
Things like EMV chip enabled credit and debit cards are making PIN numbers a thing of the past so that may be thwarting some existing security systems within a call center’s operations. In addition, some of these fraudsters are so good that they have done enough online research on their victim – often via social media – that they can answer any basic personal question asked correctly with ease.
Combating Call Center Fraud
At the moment, their really is no one size fits all solution to this problem. Companies may have to retrain employees, change and tweak their IVR system, add new and more unusual security challenges and more. However, as they used to say in the old GI Joe Saturday morning cartoons – remember them? – ‘now you know, and knowing is half of the battle.’
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