By Michael Trapani
Each year, tragically, up to five million older Americans are abused. While elder abuse can take many forms, one of the most devastating can be financial exploitation, which racks up more than $3 billion in losses annually for older adults, according to the FBI. With scams taking many forms—from scheming robocalls to government imposters—seniors who find themselves in a vulnerable position are relying on their financial institutions to help.
Banks want to prevent fraud attempts before an account is compromised, and before funds are moved out of the institution, but sadly, most fraud is discovered after-the-fact where recovery is difficult. Banks are now looking for new ways to prevent fraud while they can still stop it – and we have the online analytics tools that can help.
Taking advantage of seniors’ vulnerability
Many older adults still rely on traditional banking methods (i.e., visiting a branch) to manage their finances. Unfortunately, this can make them vulnerable to criminal activity.
Consider this: a senior receives physical statements in the mail each month. He doesn’t shred them, not realizing the lengths some will go to commit fraud. Someone has identified this older individual—maybe they go to the same bank or live in the same neighborhood—and can now pick through his trash to pull out the statements or steal them directly from his home. Once a fraudster acquires the statements, they can attempt to enroll in online or mobile banking to gain access to the accounts.
This is just one scenario for a senior to expose their vulnerability. Seniors are particularly susceptible to fraud, with family members being the most common perpetrators of financial exploitation of older adults. This is why it’s critical for banks to combat fraud with advanced analytics.
The power of proactivity
With Acoustic Tealeaf, all online banking activity is captured, making fraud monitoring and prevention possible. With Tealeaf, you can look for and set alerts when certain actions are taken. For example, the impostor will need to enter personal information to setup online banking. Banks can set alerts when certain information is entered, such as a birth date that makes the individual over 80 years old. This alert is automatically sent to the fraud prevention team, so they can reach out to the account holder to confirm the enrollment is valid before the process is complete. Not only does this benefit the account holder, but the bank has avoided spending money to remedy the issue and the extra work and customer frustration that comes with it. In fact, we’d wager you’d have a happier customer due to your proactivity!
But Tealeaf doesn’t just enable fraud alerts. You can also integrate the data Tealeaf captures into banks’ fraud prevention tools to trigger a system response such as temporarily blocking access to the account until the enrollment is verified. Once it’s determined that fraud was attempted or took place, banks can leverage Tealeaf’s session replay and data analytics to better understand exactly what happened. You can answer questions such as:
- What precisely took place on the account?
- What else has the fraudster attempted?
- What device or devices were they using?
- What’s their IP address?
By empowering banks with a deeper understanding of online interactions, they can better serve customers and help prevent financial elder abuse. Combined with the bank’s fraud and risk prevention tools, the user and activity data captured by Acoustic Tealeaf can help provide a more complete picture of fraud activity to help prevent similar attempts in the future.