The world is involved in a global pandemic. Many of us are working from home and practicing various forms of social distancing and self-quarantine to keep one another safe. Unfortunately, there is one group of folks that is working overtime right now; fraudsters.
Yes, a fraudster will take any opportunity to exploit a situation for their own gain, the tragic COVID-19 outbreak has been no different. But by following this guide, your business will be able to protect itself against fraud during this trying time.
Beware the Coronavirus E-mails
It may seem that your entire inbox is flooded with brand statements about social responsibility during COVID-19. The most dangerous emails are those that appear to originate internally. Examples of this could be a ‘work from home’ memo that is sent to an employee or perhaps the security team asks for your credentials so they can set you up on a remote VPN.
Both of those sound legitimate. In the wrong hands they can set an employee up for social engineering attacks such as SIM Swap. Consumers are being targeted with offers of free Coronavirus tests or even vaccines. Medical professionals are being sent scam offers from folks claiming to work for the CDC and WHO. Don’t led fraudsters weaponize fear. Remember to do these three simple things. Always be extra vigilant and look at the email address to see that the contact information matches the address (ie. TeleSng instead of TeleSign) Don’t click any links or download any files from unfamiliar people. Lastly, ask your security department if you are unsure. They would be happy to help.
Be Mindful of Increased Exposure to Card Not Present Fraud
With governments increasingly telling their citizens to stay home, it’s no surprise that certain e-commerce platforms have seen their traffic go through the roof. Specifically grocery delivery companies have seen a spike of over 200% in certain areas. With the increase in demand, some businesses won’t be able to handle the increase in fraud that accompanies it. Account takeover is going to be a major talking point in the cybersecurity community for the next few months.
For those who run e-commerce platforms, we recommend using digital identity as an extra layer of security. Digital identity involves building risk profiles and looking at the attributes behind a phone number (contact name, carrier, device, contract type, etc.) This information is then matched against carrier records. Platforms should leverage this data not only at onboarding but also at the transaction level so your business knows that the person making the purchase is who they say they are and not a fraudster or a bot.
Do not Engage With Scam Calls
It was probably only a matter of time before this happened, but scammers are now calling private citizens with information on how to claim their ‘COVID-19 stimulus check.’ As always, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Never answer a call that your provider indicates as ‘robo call’ or ‘scam likely.’ In fact, during this time of increased scrutiny, it might not be a terrible idea to let unknown numbers go to voicemail. The Federal Trade Commission further offers the following advice.
Scammers will exploit any situation they think will help them be more successful in their scam. With the outbreak of COVID-19, scammers have found a platform that preys on people’s fears and could make them more likely to be victimized.
For Voice providers, TeleSign’s digital identity products can be customized to filter spam calls and block these calls from ever arriving at your users, thus keeping them safe and improving the overall customer experience.
It is important that we all stay extra vigilant during the times ahead, and improving your digital hygiene is a key factor in that success in protecting yourself.
TeleSign has been connecting and protecting online experiences for over 15 years. We support 21 of the 25 largest web properties in the world and we’re prepared to help you. Contact TeleSign now and learn more about how to keep your platform safe.