Banks May Have Poor Defence Against World Cup Fraud, Says Actimize

Actimize, a NICE Systems company and provider of a financial crime, risk and compliance software platform for the financial services industry, has warned that many banks lack the necessary safeguards to protect themselves and their customers from fraud linked to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Industry data indicates that attacks increased sharply when FIFA World Cup final fixtures were announced, part of a trend whereby banks have seen sharp increases in fraud before and during events including the last World Cup and Beijing Olympics. Banks typically struggle to identify the fraudulent transactions associated with international sports events, because of the statistical ‘noise’ generated by large numbers of unusual transactions and online activity.

“Because of the increased volume of amateurish ‘noise’ created by opportunists, many of the phishing emails created by organised criminals look incredibly professional,” said Jackie Barwell, manager for financial crime products at Actimize. “These more professional schemes will direct unsuspecting victims to convincing Web pages asking for credit card details or online banking log-ins. Credit card and ATM card scams, including skimming, are on the rise as well.”

Barwell noted that banks are often poor at spotting fraud in real time, particularly when risk-scoring mechanisms are ‘thrown’ by one off events that result in large numbers of unusual transactions across different channels, such as football fans travelling overseas for the World Cup. Banks, already alert to the fact that customers’ cards are at risk, should amend their transactional risk scoring and anti-fraud processes so as to distinguish genuine suspicious activity across all customer channels – ATM, debit and credit card transactions as well as online transactions.

“Banks need flexible solutions that make use of behavioural profiling at the card, customer and merchant level,” Barwell concluded. “The solutions should use multiple scoring tiers and sophisticated analytics to identify high-risk transactions in real-time without incorrectly flagging a high volume of legitimate transactions as potentially fraudulent ones.”


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