According to First Orion’s 2018 Scam Call Trends and Projections Report, there was a dramatic increase in cell phone scam calls over the past year, rising from a mere 3.7 to 29.2 percent. The report goes on to suggest that scam calls will reach 44.6 percent of all U.S. mobile traffic by early 2019.
Financial institutions still relying on outdated, manual methods of communicating suspicious activity to the consumer – like phone calls and recorded messages – will be at a disadvantage if spam calls continue to increase. With an uptick in spam calls, banks and credit unions should be going the extra mile to deliver a positive customer and member experience. Here are some thoughts to consider regarding how the phone scammers may impact your financial institution:How Scammers Can Fool Your Consumers
Scammers have begun to strengthen their strategies to steal consumers’ information using social engineering – which, in terms of information security – is the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes. Using social engineering tactics to steal sensitive information, like mimicking legitimate or local numbers and area codes, scammers are constantly adapting to banks’ and credit unions’ attempts to implement updated security measures.
With these ever-changing and advanced methods of tricking consumers into revealing their information, financial institutions must understand that their customers will find it difficult to differentiate from when the bank is calling to relay suspicious activity or when a fraudster is calling to actually commit fraudulent activity. If customers are unsure of the phone number or hesitant to answer a spam call, this can lead to a missed opportunity to convey suspicious activity and result in lost funds.
In this digital age, financial institutions that use antiquated, labor-intensive and time-consuming methods of verification like making judgment calls or client phone calls to verify suspicious transactions are already creating a negative customer experience – but coupling that with the influx of daily cell phone spam calls will likely lead to an even unhappier customer and a negative experience.
If cell phone scams and robocalls continue to rise, customers will be more willing to let calls from unknown numbers go straight to voice mail, making it tough to get the necessary verification to process wires or ACH transfers in a timely manner. Inefficiencies in this dispute and response process can negatively impact the customer’s experience and even the perception of their financial institution.
How to Overcome the Scammers
Implementing an automated, self-service fraud prevention solution that gives customers the ability to respond to alerts, such as dialing an 800-number at their convenience, will combat cell phone scammers’ attempts at stealing sensitive information. Instituting technology that promotes visibility and control enables both customers and financial institutions to work together in monitoring for suspicious payment activity and automate out-of-band alerts and the transaction verification process.
With this technology, customer calls will always be prioritized, answered and verified using voice biometric technology, minimizing the time spent by employees to review transactions for fraud and then follow up with account holders to verify the transactions. Bank and credit union employees can then spend more time assisting members and customers on the spot while offering an easy-to-use, modern prevention solution that helps to develop stronger relationships and improve the overall experience.
There are multiple ways to fight back against cell phone scammers and fraudsters, but a combination of simplifying and automating the fraud detection, response and dispute process to verify suspicious transactions and transfers will ensure a proactive approach to fraud prevention and ultimately, an outstanding experience. The financial institutions that achieve this will surpass their competitors in providing an unparalleled customer experience.
To learn more about how to empower account holders to detect and respond to suspicious transactions, such as spam calls, download ACH Alert’s white paper, “Transform Treasury Management with Actionable Fraud Prevention Solutions.”