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UK public and private sectors fight wave of online fraud

LexisNexis touts behavioral biometrics and threat sharing to stop scams
UK public and private sectors fight wave of online fraud

Scams are on the rise in the UK according to a fresh report from LexisNexis Risk Solutions. The government is convening with the private sector to discuss tackling this danger while LexisNexis showed its own solution in cooperation with Zota Bank.

UK government wants to develop a charter for online fraud

During a meeting of the Joint Fraud Taskforce (JFT), a partnership between the private sector, government and law enforcement, taskforce representatives and members of the tech sector outlined measures against the growing volume of fraud originating on social media platforms. The Taskforce is tasked with implementing the country’s Fraud Strategy.

Some of the main initiatives include banning cold calls on all financial products, curbing down “spoofing” attacks with the help of the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom, banning so-called SIM farms and reviewing the use of mass texting services.

“Collaboration with industry is key to blocking fraud at source,” says Anthony Browne, a Member of Parliament who was appointed as Anti-Fraud Champion.

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat also called on tech firms to implement stronger measures to tackle fraud on their platforms ahead of the introduction of the Online Safety Bill. The upcoming online fraud charter is meant to ensure that tech firms block scams and fraudulent content and make reporting easier.

LexisNexis report shows UK is experiencing a scam epidemic

Thanks to the high level of adoption of fraud prevention tools, the UK enjoys lower overall cyberattack rates than the rest of the world, according to the LexisNexis Risk Solutions Global Cybercrime Report. The report is based on cybercrime attacks during 2022 against customers using LexisNexis’ Digital Identity Network, most of which are financial services organizations, and the statistics are therefore not representative across all sectors.

According to its data, the UK is still experiencing a scam epidemic. Human-initiated attacks rose 92 percent year-on-year to 36 million, while large-scale automated attacks performed by bots rose 81 percent since 2021, amounting to 352 million. One of the tools commonly deployed to protect against bots is behavioral biometrics, which LexisNexis added to its portfolio a year ago with the acquisition of BehavioSec.

Not all scams are perpetrated with bots or stolen digital IDs, either. New fraud types, such as first-party fraud and synthetic identity fraud, are presenting fresh challenges for anti-scam efforts. Among the three most common types of fraud reported by LexisNexis are scams, such as social engineering, romance, and investment scams. Other types include third-party fraud, i.e. fraud committed against a financial institution or merchant by a customer, and third-party account takeovers.

The company also highlights the benefits of shared fraud risk intelligence in another report. The report’s observations align with the goal of a shared signals pilot recently launched by Yoti, Mitek and Synectics.

LexisNexis presents KYC case study with Zopa Bank

LexisNexis presented a case study demonstrating how its Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions were used by UK’s Zopa Bank, which claims to be the world’s first peer-to-peer lending company and is backed by Softbank and other investors.

The financial institution evaluated that the highest risk for its services was when they first go live as media and marketing attract attention not only from consumers but also fraudsters. The first six months are especially attractive for scammers.

Zopa Bank applied LexisNexis ThreatMetrix and Emailage to help detect complex suspicious behavior such as fraud and digital identity theft. These tools help identify multiple applications from the same device, applications from unexpected locations, or the use of newly-created email addresses, according to LexisNexis. Further, the company argues that combining them with behavioral biometrics provides fast and accurate authentication.

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