A Fraudster’s Dictionary: Kount Announces a Cheat Sheet to Today’s Top Fraud Lingo and Schemes

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The Latest in Fraud Terms and Trends You Need to Know

Kount, a leading innovator of solutions for fraud and risk management, today announced a guide to the latest fraud terms and trends that you need to know. As seen by the expansive increase in digital hacking and the millions of compromised accounts, fraud is a not-so-silent disease that is infecting digitally housed information everywhere.

“This unfortunate and quickly evolving phenomenon has brought with it many new terms and industry traps that are unfamiliar to consumers and businesses alike,” said Brad Wiskirchen, CEO of Kount. “It is not enough anymore to stay in up-to-date with the latest social media and text talk; the key is knowing and understanding the newest fraud terms and schemes before they happen to you.”

Kount has identified five top terms that are essential to add to your fraudster dictionary. They encompass some of the most serious and important trends evolving in the fraud space today. They include:

1. Ransomware: While no one is being kidnapped in this scenario, ransomware is sure to get your heart pumping. Put simply, ransomware is malicious software that infiltrates a network or system and locks or encrypts the user’s files and devices (often leaving files scrambled) unless the victim pays for the decryption key. For corporations, ransomware may be the most threatening form of malware because the fraudster takes control of the user’s network until the ransom is paid. This often-lengthy takeover can escalate to a full-scale data breach resulting in identity theft, invoice fraud, and other malicious activity that uses harvested data.
2. Ransom32: Otherwise known as ransomware’s evil accomplice, Ransom32 is a first-of-its-kind software based on JavaScript. It is being sold on the dark web as “Ransomware-as-a-service” in exchange for a 25 percent cut of the ransom profits.
3. Synthetic IDs: Unfortunately, no chemistry degree is needed for this illegal act. Synthetic IDs are fraudulent identities developed by criminals who take legitimate pieces of personal information from various individuals and combine them into a new, hybrid identity that only exists in the virtual world. Fraudsters then use this info to open new, fraudulent bank or credit card accounts.
4. Extortionware: If ransomware and extortionware were going to battle, extortionware would most certainly win (at least by force). Extortionware goes beyond traditional ransomware, which encrypts data and demands payment, by taking it one step further and threatening to post all stolen data online if payment isn’t made.
5. FaaS (Fraud as a Service): Yet another group of starving artists criminals just trying to make it in the big, wide world of fraud. FaaS offerings are made on the black market that include everything from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to stolen payment cards or healthcare records. Increasing competition also has cybercriminals making ‘customer service guarantees’ for their services with try-before-you-buy options and returns for “faulty” merchandise (such as bad payment cards).

As if these new terms weren’t frightening enough, Kount has identified the top five fraudster schemes that are new and emerging this year, and they are sure to make you think twice about where you house your personal information. Becoming familiar with all of the below will help you become more aware of fraudulent activity if any of these unlucky circumstances were to happen to you.

1. Reshipper fraud: We like to think of this type of criminal as “Jack the Shipper.” This scheme is one in which the fraudster uses a stolen credit card to make a purchase that is then shipped out to a “mule,” or an innocent intermediary to avoid suspicion and detection. The “mule” ends up re-shipping the product back to the original fraudster unknowingly, usually in a foreign country, who then ends up selling the stolen goods illegally. Criminals often use “make money at home” or “make money online” type schemes through legitimate job boards to recruit the intermediary.
2. Triangulation fraud/schemes: The local auction doesn’t have what you need? Look no further than triangulation. This is a form of fraud that combines phishing, credit card fraud, and return fraud. A criminal will then set up a phony online auction for an item they do not have and when the ‘winning bid’ comes in, the fraudster uses a stolen credit card to fulfill the order from an online retailer. This can be extended into “quad fraud,” which is when criminals recruit existing, long-time eBay members with good standings to sell stolen items via work-at-home job scams. These schemes typically advertise that the seller gets to keep a significant cut of the sale price — typically 30 percent.
3. Zero-click fraud: Be careful where you click! Much like a sly crocodile, these criminals waste no time snatching their victim up. Zero-click fraud is a new type of online fraud that requires no user interaction and has evolved from older click hijacking fraud (an example of this would be when a site visitor clicks, for example, on a video play button, but instead of the video, they have downloaded ransomware onto their phone or computer). The new instance of “zero-click” fraud was discovered by Symantec security researchers who found that somewhere in Japan, an adult site operator decided that waiting one second after the user lands on a fraudulent page is more than enough to trigger the action they want from the user (in this case, the users were falsely led to believe that by accessing the page, they were subscribed to a premium service, for which they had to pay a fee of $2,000).
4. Chip and skim: Just when you thought that digital fraud was all you had to worry about, they start attacking the cards you have in your wallet! Chip and skim involves cloning or otherwise subverting the chip in new EMV cards. There is already a vulnerability within chip cards that allows a criminal to generate the supposedly secure unique transaction code generated by the chip, with experts saying it’s likely only a matter of time before they can clone the chip as well.
5. Social media banking: Otherwise known as the clever actors among the fraudster community, social media banking is a trend where consumers fall victim to brand hijacking, or instances where hackers can blatantly copy and misuse company logos and website content. Fraudsters impersonate a business’ online presence and deceive unsuspecting visitors into believing they are visiting the real organization’s website, then getting them to divulge personal information, typically through a guise of confirming their account information.

All jokes aside, falling victim to digital fraud is no laughing matter. Educate yourself on these terms and activities to better protect your personal and private information from these ruthless criminals.

To learn more about Kount, visit http://www.kount.com.

About Kount
Kount helps businesses boost sales by reducing fraud. Our all-in-one, SaaS platform simplifies fraud detection and helps online businesses accept more orders. Kount’s turnkey fraud platform is easy-to-implement and easy-to-use. Kount’s proprietary technology reviews billions of data points and provides maximum protection for some of the world’s best-known brands. Merchants using Kount can accept more orders from more people in more places than ever before. For more information about Kount, please visit http://www.kount.com.

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Nikki Neumann
Dotted Line Communications
+1 (518) 669-6455
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