Good Morning, Fraudster!

Imagine waking up in the morning and discovering that the barriers and hurdles that stop fraudsters from wreaking havoc on legitimate customers’ accounts seem to be getting easier and easier to crack. Now that certainly is good news, if you’re a fraudster.

First of all, there’s almost no challenge in passwords. Recent data published by SplashData shows that more than 10% of all passwords are either “password” or “123456”. So, even your not-so-sophisticated fraudster can keep trying their luck until they eventually crack your not-so-secret password. (See below for the top 10 worst passwords).

However, even if you have mastered the art of the difficult-to-crack password, all the determined fraudster has to do is request a simple password reset. These fraudsters now have a couple of new weapons up their sleeves to get what they want to take over your account.

The plethora of publicly available “private” information

The amount of personal data that is publicly available on each of us via the internet and social networks is scary. It’s just floating in the ether, waiting for the right person to take advantage of it. Mother’s maiden names, social security numbers, first pets, first-grade teachers – all of this information is out there, waiting for even the simplest of fraudsters to use it for their own malicious purposes. That’s not to mention the more sophisticated ones, with the means and expertise to get their hands on our highly guarded personal secrets.

The unsuspecting contact center agent

The second factor making life easy for fraudsters is that the only barrier between them and full control of your account is an unsuspecting customer service representative (CSR) on the other end of the phone. CSRs are trained and incentivized to help and satisfy customers, and fraudsters will use this to their advantage to manipulate agents in order to obtain the last piece of the puzzle needed for account takeover. For example, fraudsters will say things like “I’m in a hurry here. I don’t remember the answer to a question that I answered five years ago.” The truth of the matter is that agents will often “coach” fraudsters (as well as legitimate customers) to help get the right answer.

So is it all doom and gloom? Should we just post all our account details on Facebook and save fraudsters the time? Of course not. Finally there are effective options for protecting the contact center from the increasing threat of fraud.

Top 10 worst passwords:

  1.password      2.123456      3. 12345678     4.qwerty        5.abc123  

  6.monkey        7.1234567     8.letmein         9.trustno1     10.dragon

To learn more about NICE’s Contact Center Fraud Prevention solution, join us at Interactions 2013, the industry’s leading customer conference


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