7 fraud predictions on the eve of the coronavirus

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It’s a theme and variations in the world of scam, and scammers love – and thrive – during chaos and confusion.

An unprecedented global virus outbreak is exactly what the cybercriminal ordered. Confusion, chaos and abrupt changes in the behavior of digital users can help quick-witted cybercriminals exploit the current crisis to prey on unsuspecting victims.

So what should we expect in the weeks and months to come? Here are our seven biggest predictions.

1. Stimulus fraud
U.S. taxpayers who fall below the stimulus income threshold but have not filed their taxes for 2018-19 will not get direct deposit unless they file a return. This will start a race between taxpayers trying to file returns and criminals who will beat them up and provide them with a bank account they control to steal stimulus deposits. Fraudsters will also try to obtain previous tax returns from tax authorities or online accounting services so that they can be used as a baseline for fraudulent returns with changed bank details. go for small business to apply for stimulus loans using similar methods. .

2. Corona Tracker malicious applications
Cyberspace is full of coronavirus scams. Some scammers will try to get passwords for email accounts and other sites; others will try to introduce ransomware onto the user’s mobile or PC. The most dangerous scams, however, will be those that successfully trick users into downloading malicious apps. They will look like the real McCoy, with promising tools like alerting you when a coronavirus carrier is in your immediate vicinity or providing CDC-approved viral contagion maps. But in reality, they’re looking for your mobile banking app and mobile e-commerce shopping.

3. It’s time for the mule
Takeover account fraud (ATO) typically requires cashing the victim’s account via a mule – an employee with a bank account in the victim’s country. Mule recruitment hit an all-time high in 2008-2009 following the Great Recession, when people answered eagerly to any offer of work from home, often without realizing that it came from a criminal network. With the latest jobs report showing that there could be more Americans unemployed Right now, at any point in US history, recruiting mules should be even easier – and will fuel the dark economy.

4. Fraudulent credit card accounts on the rise
Since many people experience a drop in income, those who can get their hands on new lines of credit are expected to do so – but the only way open to them is through their credit card website. credit. This means an overall increase in online credit card applications. Scammers will likely try to take advantage of the trend, hiding in general noise and a reduced ability to investigate suspicious cases. It will take some time to recognize the magnitude of the losses, as criminals will have to get their hands on the physical cards first and then use them online. To complicate this, there will also be an increase in credit defaults, which are difficult to distinguish from fraudulent account openings.

5. Fraud relating to online loan applications
Lenders tighten their credit checks to ensure that the applicant still has income. To offset the decline in new acquisitions, they may relax some fraud checks, letting more people in, including more fraudsters. In any case, account openings for online loans are a lucrative target: they require little configuration beyond acquiring a list of stolen identity documents and some other precautions regarding scanning. devices and emails. Once the money is distributed, it is easy to grab it and run.

6. Social engineering… from “your bank”
“Hey, we are your bank and we want to contact you! The branch is closed so we are the friendly helpdesk. We noticed some issues in your account and we would like to help you fix the problem. Can you please install this utility to help us run some remote tests? “You know the rest of that history.

7. Deep social engineering hits the United States
The British call it authorized push payments. The Dutch see it as their main emerging trend. But the United States has yet to see this smart voice scam that tricks unsuspecting users into logging into their bank account online and simply transfer all their money to a new safe bank account, opened due to a fraud incident. These scams are extremely effective and bypass all controls such as authentication, devices, and location analysis. The only cure is to examine cognitive traits such as signs of hesitation, compulsion, and being guided.

There is a narrow window of opportunity in which the war on online fraud will become even more one-sided than it would normally be. Knowing what to expect from online scammers is the first step in stopping them.

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Uri Rivner, Co-Founder and Head of Cyber ​​Strategy at BioCatch is recognized worldwide as an industry expert in cybercrime and advanced threats. He is a regular speaker at major security and cybercrime conferences, and writes a cybersecurity blog read by thousands of … See full bio

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