One Data Point: Not Enough to Fight Fraud

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By Tom Donlea, VP, Pro Marketing - Whitepages

Last month, Brian Krebs published his article entitled Yahoo: One Billion More Accounts HackedThe number of emails that criminals have access to is shocking enough, but if you dig below the surface this breach occurred over three years ago!  There are many consumers who have multiple emails and have no idea that their yahoo account (which they may check 3 times a year) has been used as a part of a synthetic identity or account take over scam by organized crime.

This reinforces a fact we have been preaching for the past year:  relying on an email check to verify an identity IS NOT ENOUGH.  A complete fraud solution relies on a layered online fraud system and utilizes other key data elements like name, address, phone, IP and even related persons (in certain high ticket or bill/to ship to discrepancy situations).  Hundreds of thousands of these emails have already been used to commit fraud and many more are being queued up and matched with other legitimate consumer details… the crime rings are just waiting to deploy this sophisticated, crooked database to hit your site. 

It’s also key to remember that utilizing a robust identity solution is key to finding and approving good transactions.  If you clamp down your systems because you are aware that millions of email addresses are corrupt, you are potentially turning away good business.  Whitepages Pro specializes in helping online merchants speed good transactions to clear and can reduce your manual review queue by up to 50%.

Though this is the largest breach in history*, data hacks like this are no longer isolated, infrequent incidents. With the volume of data increasing ever year, merchants must be wary and focused on implementing secure environments that use every tool in the box – data, behavior analytics, device identification, and other technologies – to stay ahead of fraud.

*http://www.theguardian.com, 12/15/2016