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Synthetic ID Fraud: Continuous Monitoring Is the Key

Greg Woolf of FiVerty on How the Fed's SIF Tool Kits Have Helped Banks

Data Breach Today
By Suparna Goswami
July 15, 2022

Synthetic identity fraud can take eight to 12 months before resulting in mass fraud, meaning banks must leverage that opening to reauthenticate customers, says Greg Woolf, founder and CEO of FiVerity, an organization that develops machine-learning software solutions to detect emerging forms of cyber fraud.

One characteristic of SIF is the "bust-out," a type of fraud in which an identity establishes a normal usage pattern and solid repayment history with a credit and then racks up numerous charges and maxes out the credit.

This long window, Woolf says, gives financial institutions tan opportunity to "run their synthetic ID detection tools against an existing portfolio." Synthetic IDs are often hard to detect, he says, but "over a period of time, there are telltale signs that the accounts are not of the people who they say they are."
"Institutions should look for synthetics not only while opening accounts but also over time, looking periodically at accounts that may have looked innocent when they started but now look like synthetics," he says.

In a video interview with Information Security Media Group, Woolf also discusses:

  • How tools kits to fight SIF have helped banks;
  • How to leverage technological and manual processes to identify synthetic IDs;
  • The best way to leverage machine learning.

Woolf has more than 20 years of experience founding and running fintech companies. He moderates AI industry groups with more than 10,000 members and is the founder the Boston AI Think Tank - a group of senior executives from prominent global financial institutions who, with current and former government regulators, are exploring how AI can improve financial crime detection for the financial services industry.