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Experian Highlights 2023's New Fraud Initiatives for Scammers

By Tracey E. Schelmetic January 27, 2023

Fraudsters are nothing if not adaptable. While most of us are too knowledgeable to fall for Windows scams or extended car warranty scams, there are new threats intended to catch even the most savvy of us off our guard. This week, Experian released its 2023 Future of Fraud Forecast, which reveals five fraud threats that could prove challenging for consumers and businesses in the new year. This year’s annual predictions show that fraudsters will use some new deception techniques to outsmart businesses and deceive consumers.

The “boss” wants you to buy gift cards. Many of us work remotely in 2023, which has given rise to the necessity of electronic communications for daily contact with the office. Fraudsters understand this, and Experian is reporting that texts that purport to come from the office are on the rise. These texts will ask employees to buy gift cards (for some possibly plausible sounding reason) and ask the victim to text the card numbers to them.

Fake job postings. Since most workers engage in online job searches, it was inevitable that scammers would seek to take advantage of this. 2023 is likely to bring a rise in fraudsters creating fake remote job postings, specifically designed to lure consumers into applying for the job and providing private details like a social security number and date of birth on a fake employment application.

The rise of synthetic shoppers to defraud retailers. Increasingly, scammers are creating a synthetic or “Frankenstein” identity by combining real and false information and opening and building up lines of credit, eventually maxing out their credit limit and never paying it back. Experian predicts a new version of this fraud could result in major losses for retailers in the coming year. Fraudsters can create online shopper profiles using synthetic identities so that the fake shopper’s legitimacy is created to outsmart retailers’ fraud controls. As the shopper’s profile matures, criminals add stolen payment cards to the accounts. When the fraud eventually occurs, a single synthetic identity will have multiple credit lines to burn through across retailers.

Social shopping fraud. While retailers rush to build their social retail channels, many are skimping on the type of identity verification and fraud detection controls that are necessary to prevent criminal theft, making the retailers that sell on these platforms easy targets for a surge in fraudulent purchases.

Peer-to-peer payment fraud. Increasingly, Americans are buying off the Internet using peer-to-peer payment methods, which criminals are taking advantage of. Experian predicts fraudsters will gain even more unauthorized access to peer-to-peer payments by using multiple social engineering techniques. Consumers will be duped into buying fake items, sending the money to fraudsters and then never receiving their orders. They’ll also be tricked into giving their account credentials, enabling fraudsters to send cash to themselves.

Edited by Alex Passett
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