Identity Thieves Dialing In To Call Centers To Finish The Job

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Many providers are selling commercial call management software to companies with fewer than 20 extensions, said Randy Kremlacek, president of Hayward, Calif.-based TeleDynamic Communications, a reseller of Digium Switchvox call center systems. Those firms likely stick with the features they have unless they grow in volume and need additional capabilities, Kremlacek said.

Inscoe said she has seen some bank call centers bolstering knowledge-based authentication with voice printing and other voice biometrics technologies designed to verify callers by the tone and tenor of their voices. Some technologies also use behavioral analytics to score callers against the potential for fraud. In addition, contact centers are recording and storing known fraudulent calls to see if the fraudsters attempt to call back.

Many of the technologies rely on engines driven by established firms including Authentify, Nuance Communications and VoiceVault. Agnitio and Convergys specialize in voice recognition, and Pindrop Security, NICE Actimize and Mattersight conduct audio analysis to detect fraud, Inscoe said.

Eve Maler, principal analyst at Forrester Research, said early adopters of voice biometrics are using the technology at a less granular level, such as identifying whether a male speaker is impersonating a female customer.

Maler recommends call center operators consider using a customer authentication assessment framework if additional measures are needed. The goal is to find the right balance by reducing fraud without increasing customer frustration, Maler said.

Key is being able to understand the organization's risk posture and tie together account registration, login security policies, authorization measures for higher-risk tasks such as transferring large sums of money and account recovery procedures. Some firms are finding success linking logins with a customer's social network services. Ensuring that issues can be resolved online reduces costs significantly because Forrester estimates that a single call to resolve a login issue can cost as much as $10.

Inscoe agrees that challenges exist to addressing fraud in the call center using voice biometrics. Many financial firms in the study indicated that they record calls but don't retain them long enough to feed voice printing antifraud systems with usable data.

"Security is certainly a big part of the cost equation, but finding value may be more about boosting efficiencies," Inscoe said. "There's a strong need to bring together IT and business to mitigate the costs associated with fraud at contact centers."


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