Comment: Banks must do more to stop rise in fraudulent impersonators

New research from Barclays shows that impersonation scams are on the rise, in which fraudsters pretend to be the bank via email or message.

Banks must do more to help their customers to avoid scams with confidence. The most discerning of customers have taken to hunting down spelling mistakes and grammar errors to check if an email really is from their bank. It’s an unacceptable addition to the busy, working day.

Sundeep Tengur, Senior Business Solutions Manager, SAS, said: “The rise of impersonation scams means that banks must work harder than ever to prove themselves trustworthy amid this crisis. As well as monitoring customer accounts closely to spot suspicious behaviour like large amounts of money being transferred to new accounts, they must also encourage those who have been scammed to share their experiences, while training their anti-fraud tech to ensure these do not happen again.

“The crisis has provided fraudsters with countless new methods of attack. Accompanying behavioural changes from consumers during the pandemic are only making it more difficult for static rules-based detection tools to cope. Anomaly detection is one of the key measures in identifying fraud, allowing organisations to understand significant deviations from normal behaviour on customer accounts. Existing fraud detection models need to adapt to this new ‘normal’ based on the very latest data, and where this isn’t the case the likelihood is we’ll unfortunately see more fraud fall through the cracks.

“To counter impersonation scams, consumers and banks must be more vigilant than ever before. Financial organisations must also encourage customers to speak out when they’re suspicious of a new scam. From here, they must not only reassure the customer, but ensure that they have the technology to beat the next case of fraud. Intelligent, automated anti-fraud tools, driven by customer experiences and insight, will be key to catching the criminals and helping protect the public.”