With our daily lives and spending patterns altered thanks to the pandemic, fraudsters quickly sought to take advantage. Their tactics became more creative and the attacks more frequent. Fraud hit record highs around the world.
But as levels have seemingly stabilised, the support is quietly slipping away. The closure of the Crimestoppers Covid hotline should be a positive sign that fraud is controllable. However where there is money, there is a seemingly irresistible opportunity to exploit potential victims.
Now, with the cost of living crisis hitting our wallets hard, fraudsters are doubling down on authorised push payment (APP) fraud. From fake emails and hoax WhatApps to misleading social media posts and counterfeit websites, fraudsters are targeting stressed consumers who are, unfortunately, more vulnerable to being scammed.
What is APP fraud?
Last year alone, £249.1 million was stolen through authorised fraud. These APP scams use social engineering to trick victims into willingly authorising a bank transfer or payment from an account within their control.
In practice this looks like:
Impersonation scams see consumers interact with criminals posing as trusted figures or organisations working to trick people into giving away their personal and financial information. This was the largest category of APP losses in 2022, at £90.5 million.
Crypto and investment-related scams
Crypto and investment-related scams is where consumers invest in opportunities promising big and quick returns, only to receive nothing and lose their investment completely. This was the second-largest type of APP scam last year, with losses reaching £61.2 million.
Purchase scams con consumers into paying for goods they believe to be genuine, but in reality, do not exist. This was the most common type of scam last year with 53,782 cases equating to 56% of all APP fraud.
Romance scams trick consumers into transferring to fraudsters posing as loved ones or they fall victim to psychological tactics implemented through the online dating experience.
Utility scams are used to access personally identifiable information (PII) and threaten to cut your service if you don’t pay immediately.
In some instances, cluster fraud is implemented. Whereby multi-dimensional attacks target a victim with a number of different scams all at once. Another trend coming to the fore is ‘pig butchering’. A worrying elevation that takes fraud to a frightening new level, it involves a brutal and elaborate form of organised and international crime where scammers groom their victims for a prolonged period before stealing huge sums, usually via authorised cryptocurrency payments.
Communicating your value in fighting fraud
Advancements in technology help to intercept these emerging fraud tactics, but tech can also be utilised by fraudsters. Fraud as a Service (FaaS) is becoming more commonplace, with tools and services offered to facilitate criminal fraudulent attempts.
For businesses using technology to tackle fraud this presents a challenge. Companies such as OneID that work to create secure and trustworthy online experiences, Cybertonica utlises enhanced behavioural insights to fight fraud, and Ravelin’s machine learning risk prediction all promote a proactive strategy to tackling fraudulent activity. So it’s only natural that, a constant, an ‘always-on’ approach to comms ranging from PR to social is needed to cut through the noise and build trust.
What could this look like for your business?
Allowing you to build a thought leadership profile through a variety of content tactics, the press office function of a PR strategy puts your business in front of your customer’s minds, commenting on the biggest stories of the day. Look for a PR partner that can confidently translate the technical elements of your fraud solution and position you as a leader in your field. Reacting quickly to relevant news stories can give you a voice in this debate and ultimately build stakeholder trust.
A vital strategy to restore trust, in a complex market that can be emotionally charged depending on the extent and impact of any private information compromises. Do you have a strategy in place in case the worst were to happen?
Choosing the right social media platform based on your target audience and where they are most influenced is hugely important, as is offering valuable content that engages and informs
SEO and PPC are the two most important digital marketing strategies when looking to drive traffic to a website. SEO helps increase organic search engine rankings, while PPC helps get more leads and sales through targeted ads. Using an integrated strategy improves search results, driving traffic and boosts CTR and conversion.
Whether your focus is B2B, B2B2C or B2C, as a business tackling the fraud epidemic you need to be seen to be at the forefront of the latest tech developments to begin to build trust with your audience. An always-on and integrated comms strategy establishes a strong foundation for your business, allowing you more time to focus on tackling the fraud crisis.
If you’re a technology company with a solution that can solve any of the trends discussed in this blog but need help in getting your name out there and reaching your key audiences, don’t hesitate to contact our team of expert Tech PR consultants, we’d be happy to discuss how we could help.