Prevent Fraud in the Contact Center


June 23, 2015

I called my bank yesterday to complete a wire transfer. After answering a couple of basic questions about my account and personal information, I was able to instantly transfer a considerable amount of money from my savings account to my retirement account.  Answers to my security questions could easily be mined from social media, Google searches, and real estate/public government records – that got me thinking.

Did you know there are approximately 12 million victims of identity fraud a year in the United States and 8% of households reported some type of identity fraud? These financial losses total nearly $50 billion a year.

Financial institutions have invested heavily in security systems against traditional computer hacking, but have somehow neglected the social engineering phone-based fraud that occurs through contact centers. Surprisingly, traditional contact center vendors (Cisco, Avaya, Interactive Intelligence, Genesis) haven’t developed viable solutions to address this problem.

The biggest issue is that most voice authentication processes rely on knowledge-based authentication methods.  The second issue is that customer representatives must balance providing great customer service with asking a flurry of authentication questions.

3 Cutting Edge Ideas To Prevent ID Fraud In The Contact Center


  1. Use Seamless Voice Printing AuthenticationVoice biometrics are already used for authentication purposes. Traditional biometric models require users to enroll by recording a predefined list of alphanumeric characters. Once a user is enrolled, a random sample is used for authentication every time they call. These systems are usually more successful than knowledge based authentication systems, however, the enrollment process is cumbersome and the success rate can be low.  Most financial institutions are required to record and retain call recordings for up to 7 years. These call recordings contain valuable voice biometric information that could be used to automatically authenticate a caller during the initial conversation. Instead of peppering the customer with authentication questions, the agent could make pleasant small talk until an audio sample is obtained to compare the voice biometric print to the print from older recordings. Of course, if the recordings don’t exist, a strict knowledge-based authentication process can be utilized.
  2. Share Voice Print and Caller ID Databases

    The same group of individuals conducts most telephone fraud.  Once a caller is identified as a fraudster, their voice print could become part of a shared “blocked/fraud alert caller” database. The database could be cloud-based and shared between all financial institutions. The same idea could apply to phone caller IDs used by individuals that commit fraud. If a caller ID or voice print exists in the database, agents could be instructed to use extra security measures/authentication questions before providing account access. In addition, any financial transactions could be confirmed by placing a confirmation outbound call to the account owner.

  3. Monitor MOS Scores and Shady Telecom Carriers

    Most telephone fraud initiates outside the United States.  The Mean Opinion Score (MOS) is a telephony network test that’s been used for decades to obtain the human user’s view of the quality of the network. MOS scores for calls originating outside the U.S. are usually lower than calls within the U.S. Comparing the MOS scores to existing call recordings can raise red flags for the agent. Analyzing the telecom network the call came from can also identify suspicious calls. For example, calls coming from carriers that allow caller ID spoofing (e.g. Skype) should raise red flags for the agents.


Phone-Based ID Fraud Costs Contact Centers Millions of Dollars Every Year

Third party biometric solutions are available, but expensive and hard to integrate with existing contact center platforms. It’s time that contact center vendors provide a better, less expensive, and fully integrated solution using existing technology as part of their solutions.

Are you interested in more information about cloud contact center solutions? Mindsight, a Chicago IT consulting and engineering firm, specializes in providing advanced technology solutions as an extension of your in-house team. Contact us today – we can help you figure out what program is best for your team.

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About Mindsight

Mindsight, a Chicago IT consultancy and services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We’ve always prided ourselves in delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from design and implementation to support and management. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for a local business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.

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