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Public sector fraud is rising, biometrics could be the solution, says iProov

Public sector fraud is rising, biometrics could be the solution, says iProov

The COVID-19 pandemic kicked off a scramble to digitize the public sector including handing out financial aid to citizens. But fraudsters are seizing this opportunity by increasingly spoofing ID verification using sophisticated generative AI technologies, such as deepfakes, digitally injected attacks and synthetic identities.

A key driver of public sector fraud is that millions of Americans’ PII has already been exposed in past data breaches. This means that fraudsters can use existing data combining it with sophisticated technologies to power dangerous, scalable threats like credential stuffing attacks, U.S. biometric verification company iProov says in a new report.

Up to $80 billion, or about 10 percent of the $800 billion handed out in a COVID relief plan known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), was stolen by fraudsters, according to experts. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), says that one watchdog group reported a six times increase in unemployment fraud investigations over pre-pandemic levels.

The stakes for solving the issue are high as citizens can lose access to benefits because of fraud. Individuals have found that their accounts for Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards emptied after cases of account takeover fraud.

iProov said that many traditional security methods, relying on tokens and passwords, are unable to counter modern fraud by cybercriminals. Instead, resilient biometric-enabled identity verification could flag attempts from fraudsters to apply for benefits, according to the report.

iProov recently discussed digital identity proofing as a public good in a webinar focused on state DMVs and mobile driver’s licenses. During the event, iProov SVP and Head of Americas Ajay Amlani discussed the need for a stronger foundation for identity proofing of U.S. citizens which could be provided by motor vehicle departments.

iProov works with public sector organizations including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the UK Home Office, the Australian government and the Singapore government.

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