Making a difference when it comes to fraud prevention

Where Communication Professionals Go to Know


by | Jun 18, 2024 | News | 0 comments

What did I take away from the two days of extensive presentations and discussions at CFCA’s International Summer Educational Event in London earlier this month?  I can wrap it up into one single word… TRUST

Trust in customers, partners, networks, devices, data, apps, and technology was the overlying theme as industry experts came to the Mastercard offices in London from multiple industries and verticals to discuss how they can effectively tackle the fraud threats they face today and to prepare for the possible future threats that will be impacting their business and customers in the ever expanding digital ecosystem.

Trust is like glass, once shattered, even the tiniest cracks are visible forever.” 


Everything we do is built around trust – our personal relationships, our business activities, when that trust is broken there is a knock on effect to our lives, confidence, and security. This is no different in the digital ecosystem, we are all now heavily integrated into the digital ecosystem in our everyday lives as consumers and subliminally trust this environment to regularly communicate, socialise, transact, and live our daily lives.

Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”


We expect and assume in this digital ecosystem that when we interact with, integrate with, or communicate with, it is a trusted reputable source, destination, and endpoint. 

Trust comes in many guises…

  • Trust in calls and SMS you receive are legitimate and certified. 
  • Trust in your bank that the app you use is authentic 
  • Trust in your merchant that the details you provide in your transaction are secure
  • Trust that the device on your network is not stolen
  • Trust as a CSP and Bank that the customers you onboard are legitimate
  • Trust that the entity in any transaction is real
  • Trust that your data will be secure with your CSP or Bank
  • Trust that the call you make is not an IRSF fraud attempt
  • Trust as a CSP that the calls you receive have not been subject to a bypass fraud
  • Trust the call you make is not to a premium rate (PRS) number
  • Trust the missed call you receive is not a Wangiri Fraud
  • Trust that as a CSP the volume of calls is not the result of Artificial Inflation of Traffic
  • Trust as a CSP that the calls you receive have not been refilled to lower the termination cost
  • Trust that the call from your bank is not spoofed
  • Trust that your SIM card will not be swapped without your knowledge or permission
  • Trust as a CSP that the calls being received are not the result of Over the Top (OTT) activities
  • Trust that as a CSP the roamers that visit your network intend to pay for the service
  • The list could go on…

To achieve trust in the digital ecosystem requires collaboration across multiple industries and disciplines as well as the inclusion of third-party products and services to ensure businesses can provide trust in their devices, and the apps on them to be able to confidently accept calls, receive SMS’s and utilise banking and other financial services without the risk of their identity being abused and being defrauded or scammed.

Two full days of presentations and discussions at the CFCA International Summer Educational event is just one step further in building strong relationships and partnerships to allow more collaboration and transparency between industries to provide that concerted effort to manage cross-sector fraud. To do this requires of course  TRUST, trust in all parties to be able to discuss, confer, suggest, and even disagree but also take forward constructive ideas and initiatives.

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters… 

Albert Einstein

At both ends of the fraud spectrum, new technological advancements are assisting fraudsters to commit crimes as well as supporting fraud teams to identify fraud and nefarious actors. Today advanced technologies are being used against us to spoof calls, mimic legitimate businesses, and fake individual identities, whilst ironically the same advanced technologies are being used in telecoms and finance industries to identify these rogue bad agents and actors.  Deepfakes that leverage tools and techniques from machine learning and artificial intelligence, including facial recognition algorithms and artificial neural networks, are all starting to emerge as available solutions. I became Brad Pitt for a few minutes in a demonstration at the event to show how easy it is with low-cost equipment (a second-hand gaming computer and some software), fraudsters can take on infinite disguises and personas.

Advanced technologies are becoming more freely available and more cost-effective to dishonest individuals and groups, fraudsters can utilise a full armoury of tools to ensure they can attack in force, in high volumes, and with extreme ease and duplicity.

Reputation is built on TRUST and in today’s highly competitive marketplace, reputation will be the deciding factor between who has market share. The risk of broken trust can mean lost reputation, consumer dissatisfaction, and brand erosion.

An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves. A rope that has three parts wrapped together is hard to break.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Data brings insight and in turn, brings intelligence – the more substantiated and consolidated data from multiple endpoints will surely bring better decisions and confidence.  Telcos have valuable data and insights alongside technological advances that can support the identity of scams and allow quicker and more effective detection. Payment networks like Mastercard have an inordinate amount of data and technology at their fingertips, banks, financial services, online banking providers, and merchants have intelligence and insights on their customers.

The power of three is better than one and together identity verification, authentication, certification, call attestation can take place across the digital ecosystem to push fraud back into the shadows and allow for confidence in telecoms, commerce, and banking. As we all know, to be confident in any aspect of your life requires TRUST.

Trust dies but mistrust blossoms


Regulatory, data protection, GDPR, anti-trust etc., will of course all play their part in slowing down any quick overnight progression in collaborative start-ups, but without individuals and businesses pushing and constantly asking awkward questions, challenging the norm and getting together in industry networking environments like last week, we will be talking the same frauds for many more years to come.

The last presentation of the two days was very apt, it was a panel session on Restoring Trust in Communications: When industry and regulators collaborate globally with Philipe Millet from the One Consortium, The Restore Trust initiative (i3Forum) is looking to enable global collaboration between the international telecoms industry (One Consortium) and regulators (GIRAF), as well as with other key stakeholders like law enforcement, retail etc., in order to fill the current cooperative void. With over twenty European regulators already joining this initiative, there are signs that collaboration and TRUST could be a realistic step and not just wishful thinking.  The CFCA is a strategic partner with both i3Forum and One Consortium.

Let us hope with these initiatives and more meetings like last week, individuals and groups from different industries, verticals, regions, and responsibilities can sit in a room and share the pains, threats, risks, objectives, and possible solutions and can build and strengthen the TRUSTED DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM.

Luke Taylor or you can just call me Brad…

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