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Fraudsters are sly, cautious, sneaky, crafty, quiet, surreptitious and smart. They are constantly changing the game: seeking out new techniques, leveraging past exploits, and being creative in order to find new ways to commit fraud. They play short games with schemes that show finesse and precision; they play long games with schemes that involve strong, intelligent moves, patience and accuracy.

Fraudsters love the dark web. To them it is a stealthy place where they can acquire injurious tools and interact with fellow travelers without being traced. It is a place where fraudsters can find voters rolls and Social Security numbers, lists of deceased people and their last known home addresses. It’s a place where they can buy and sell credit card details, share information about fraud schemes, tools to use, and the ripest business and government targets.

Some of the tools and techniques used by fraudsters include:

  • Enhanced Target Information – Fraudsters buy and sell Social Security numbers, drivers’ license data, credit card details and personally identifiable information (PII).  Next, they often select a demographic – such as children and retirees  – whose members are less likely to discover the fraudulent use of their data and identities. Fraudsters even use the PII of deceased people.
  • Phone Number Spoofing. Fraudsters acquire real phone numbers from the dark web. They use their computers to place calls, or use these phone numbers in loan applications, new account details, etc.
  • Location Spoofing – Using tools – such as Surfshark, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish and CyberGhost – fraudsters are able to buy PII on the dark web and then spoof the location of the target.
  • Advanced Privacy Software – Tools – such as Kameleo, Q6 Cyber, Anti-Detect and others – are used by fraudsters to avoid browser fingerprinting or IDs, and use virtual profiles while browsing to make it hard to catch ‘em.
  • AI to Manipulate Real Identities – Fraudsters use large quantities of real identities and use AI to make limited, random transformations to PII – especially with Social Security numbers. They then build a myriad of artificial identity profiles that are sown into fraud schemes.
  • AI to Produce Synthetics– Using AI, fraudsters are able to mix real and faked identities in order to perpetrate fraud schemes based on syntheticIdentities (so-called “SIF”).

Fraudsters use these tools and techniques to open bank accounts, obtain credit or loans, or secure other forms of credit. They then commence playing a long game, posing as a legitimate credit union or bank customer in order to build up credit over time with the goal of maximizing their ‘take’ when they ultimately ‘bust out’ and defraud these companies and others.

Financial services companies have to find a strong partner in this war involving escalating AI / ML tools and techniques. Call or email FiVerity and learn more.

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