min read

Fraudsters, deep fakes, and face masks

Published on
March 28, 2024
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Criminals are getting smarter and more sophisticated. Thankfully, so are our tools and identity verification solutions. Consumer habits have shifted due to Covid-19 and naturally criminals' efforts to capitalize on the new paradigm have as well.

Think back to the first few months of 2020. At that point in time, you may have never worn a mask, thought about what a toilet paper shortage would look like, or noticed how many parts of your home needed renovations. Now, a year and a half into the pandemic experience, you may be longing for a concert, restaurant experience, or travel longer than a car can realistically and comfortably take you. But have you actually reflected on how many aspects of our lives have changed during this period, what it meant, and what it may mean for the future?

Covid-related consumer changes

When it comes to consumer behavior, we witnessed what seems to be Covid-related consumer changes turned into permanent shifts. The commercial landscape, from commerce to entertainment, took on new shapes, developed covid-proof products and services, and even found different revenue streams. The same is true for the banking industry, as the use of digital wallets and mobile banking skyrocketed, while the use of cash in-store declined.

Financial crime related to covid-related consumer changes

Criminals looking to capitalize on changes

But these drastic shifts and the unprecedented growth in certain sectors didn’t go unnoticed by criminals planning to capitalize on it. With the lockdowns and changing consumer habits, In the US there’s been noticeable uptick in identity fraud attempts in 2020 compared to the previous year and, according to the Global True Cost of Compliance 2020 report (Lexis Nexis), the annual cost of financial crime compliance in Europe was $102,5 billion in 2020 (up from $87 billion in 2019).

Moreover, according to UK Finance, the banking industry stopped $2.2 billion of attempted fraud losses in 2020 in the United Kingdom alone. While that is a number that accounts for all fraud and not just identity fraud, it still paints a fairly clear picture – it is rapidly becoming challenging for financial institutions to keep up with the regulatory and compliance burden, and there is seemingly no end in sight. In fact, the recent uptick in fraudulent activities points to the opposite being true. As a result, banks are taking action, further investing in their ability to fight financial crimes and fraudsters with more manpower and better technology. Along the same lines, financial institutions are also expanding their investigative capacity, in an effort to solve fraudulent activities that have already taken place.

Deep fakes and fraudsters

Fraudsters are also becoming more sophisticated when it comes to how they go about committing their financial crimes, with the emergence of new technologies like deep fakes and silicone masks being a good example. While some of these masks work better than others, spotting and identifying the fraudster can be difficult. Advanced biometric checks, like those offered by ZignSec, can help. With that said, the constant improvement of detection techniques is desperately needed, and we aim to continue to be a part of the solution to both current and future fraudulent crimes.

Deep fakes and masks becoming more common for financial crime

Detecting forged IDs

In addition to focusing on emerging technologies, criminals are also becoming better at forging official government-issued IDs. This includes the digital identity of an individual as well. Cases where false identification documents correspond exactly with information on the victim’s social media accounts, including the full name, date of birth, place of birth, and connections with fake family and friends, are becoming increasingly common. Fraudsters are now going the extra mile to make the identity thefts more believable, and they are spending more time on building credible backstories and a network of realistic and credible contacts for the stolen identity.

Thankfully, online ID verification solutions like those offered by ZignSec can help with this. With our tools, customers can scan over 8,000 types of IDs and documents in real-time and take comfort in a best-in-class user experience and automated processes.

Identity verification now considered a board-level Issue

With criminals changing their approach on a near daily basis, and with their attempts becoming progressively more complex, businesses and individuals need to take a more holistic approach to data and identity verification. Protecting identities is of utmost importance to individuals, and it has perhaps become even more important to businesses as consumers trust them with their sensitive information. Obvious financial losses aside, banks also face potentially massive reputational, political, and legal consequences if their customers are subject to fraudulent crimes as a result of using their services or products. It’s no wonder that what was once seen as merely an operational cost for banks is now considered a board-level issue

Fight fraudsters and deep fakes with us  

Contact us today at sales@zignsec.com to learn more about how we can protect your business and customers, all while keeping you up to date on fraudulent developments and emerging criminal trends. Or simply book a demo here.

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