Acuant is taking a brief look at some of the key fraud trends of 2020. The company noted that the increase in digital traffic corresponded with an increase in fraudulent activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, with identity theft, synthetic identities, account takeover, and money muling becoming popular angles of attack for cybercriminals.
Elder abuse and unemployment fraud proved to be particularly pernicious problems in that regard. Acuant recorded a 30 to 40 percent rise in elder abuse since the start of the pandemic, with much of that fraud occurring when fraudsters manipulate identity documents to get past identity verification systems and take advantage of senior citizens.
Unemployment fraud, on the other hand, occurs when someone uses a stolen or synthetic identity to file a false unemployment claim to receive benefits they would not otherwise be entitled to receive. The high volume of legitimate claims during the recession created more opportunities (and more cover) for fraudsters, with the price tag for unemployment fraud estimated to reach nearly $2 billion in California alone.
According to Acuant, 57 percent of businesses have reported higher losses due to account takeover attacks. Americans have personally lost $145 million due to fraud associated with COVID-19, while the European Union issued more than €60 million in fines between January and August for violations of its GDPR regulations.
With that in mind, Acuant is encouraging businesses to adopt automated identity solutions to curtail fraudulent activity moving into 2021. The company found that 67 percent of businesses believe that AI is an important tool for fraud prevention, while 88 percent of customers want more control of their personal data.
Acuant, of course, is trying to position itself to meet that demand. The company recently received iBeta Level 2 certification, and gained FedRAMP approval to provide cloud services to government agencies. It has also outfitted companies like TRAXX and Screenlyy with biometric onboarding technology.
December 23, 2020 – by Eric Weiss