Tackling the rise in mobile fraud.

4th September 2020

By Paul Edsall, Director of Identity Partnerships.

“You do the crime, you do the time”. We’ve all heard this old adage at some point but not all crime is built equal though.

Some types of crime, on the face of it victimless in nature with people neither physically hurt nor goods or property damaged, can actually have the most far-reaching of consequences for people and businesses, impacting lives and sometimes even their very existence. We are talking here of course about cybercrime and online fraud, crimes characterised by deceit, concealment and violation of trust. Now, trust, that’s the key word.

Trust is the bedrock upon which great relationships between companies and their clients are built. Without it you don’t have a chance. It is two-way in nature, hard won but oh so easily lost.

Fraud has steadily emerged as the mobile industry public enemy No. 1. It is not confined to a specific organisation, rather a massive industry challenge that spans the entire globe. With online transaction and payment volumes on an inexorable track upwards and ecommerce globally now worth north of $25 trillion (yes, trillion) it is boom time for fraudsters. The key to having any chance of beating this modern-day scourge is to firstly understand it. And TMT Analysis do.

The mobile channel is gaining in importance and with an estimated two billion smartphone users globally accessing the internet via these mobile devices only, it’s easy to see why. Both mobile subscribers and their serving operators are therefore front and centre in the sights of those looking to do the crime.

Mobile phones are a hotbed for account takeover. Fraudsters are known to source customer information through social media or even buying the data from sources such as the dark web. All it takes is a swapped out mobile SIM card or for call forwarding to be enabled the real customer in the dark, totally unaware. All this exposes companies and their customers to fraud.

Secure (I.e. two-factor) customer authentication is becoming standard practice in the ecommerce sphere across more and more countries. Organisations send one-time passwords (OTPs) using SMS and text-to-speech to verify account access and payments so unsanctioned SIM-swap and call forwarding are real threats. This is where we come in.

TMT Analysis address these risks head-on, helping stem the tide of illegal activity globally. Core to this is ensuring customers are who they say there are and we are able offer protection without adding friction to the customer experience. Our Verify solution does exactly this.

We gather numbering data from over 80 countries globally, storing the status of over 2.5 billion numbers. Ally this data with that sourced from our interconnections with the leading operators from across the mobile industry, and we are able to provide a wide range of intelligence on the status and history of a number in a fraction of a second.

Our mobile number intelligence APIs connect you to this live numbering database, spotting when a SIM-Swap has taken place and cross-referencing our other live telecoms data to verify that someone is indeed who they say they are. Likewise, organisations can be alerted when a customer ports out their number to another operator, yet another potential indicator of fraud underway. And we can spot when a call divert has been set up on a customer’s phone. Putting all these elements together provides for a fantastic range of tools to combat fraud.

TMT Analysis helps organisations know who their customers truly are. Our data powers many of the world’s leading identity providers and financial services organisations around the world, delivering actionable insights that enhance and protect every stage of the customer experience.

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