How to Combat Account Takeovers and Account Origination Fraud


    Do you find yourself setting up more online accounts and adding new apps and new websites?.

    It’s quick and easy to do when you’re trying to make a purchase or get a service. Yet, each time you give out information, it can open the door for a fraudster.

    Javelin Research looked at how fast criminals can accomplish account takeovers (ATO). Their 2020 research found that 40 percent of ATOs occur within 24 hours of account breaches.

    If a criminal gains access to your account, serious damage can occur. Keep reading to learn how to combat ATO and account origination fraud.

    What Are Account Takeovers

    When an unauthorized person gains access to your account this describes an ATO. This can mean they know your login for social media, healthcare, email accounts, and more.

    Many hackers use malware to introduce a virus. The virus may be designed to record the victim’s keystrokes made on their computer. From here, the criminal can send messages from your account posing as you.

    These emails may include links to all parties in your contact list. They may want to damage your reputation or spread the virus to other accounts.

    If you have a website that accepts payments, this can result in a customer data breach. The hacker may use your login details to reset your password and block your access to the account. All forms of ATO can cause some form of damage.

    Account Origination Fraud

    Today, one of the fastest-growing cyber threats worldwide is Account Origination Fraud (AOF). The criminal uses a fake or stolen identity and generates new accounts. This crime proves very hard to detect.

    Hackers are exploiting new efforts to protect personal identifiers in e-commerce. This increased anonymity makes it harder to find those using fake or stolen credentials. Once they gain access they may:

    • Create new bank or credit card accounts
    • Apply for loans or insurance
    • Turn virtual products into cash

    As mentioned above, the thief moves quickly once they set up illegal accounts. They complete their theft and move on. This makes it hard to detect the incident and recover lost assets.

    Cybercriminals continue to alter their techniques for conducting these crimes. This creates a challenge for security platforms working to protect the business.

    How to Reduce the Risk of Account Takeover Fraud

    There are strategies that individuals and businesses can take to fight ATO fraud. Remain diligent about protecting your personal data.

    Two-factor identification for new accounts has proven more secure. These systems focus on verification strategies that don’t rely on “what you know”. For example, they may use fingerprints or keystroke patterns as an identifier.

    Make sure to change passwords frequently. Consider using an auto-generated password. Never use the same password for every account.

    Avoid social media quizzes asking questions such as first teacher, hometown, or maiden name. These are often the answers to common account security questions.

    Keep a close eye on your financial accounts and credit scores. Choose financial institutions that offer account monitoring and notification of unusual activity. This can help you quickly learn about a possible ATO before the thief can do much damage.

    Do You Need an Account Security Solution?

    If you’re a business owner or executive, you may bear the responsibility of security oversite. Protecting against account takeovers can prove challenging as hackers now move so quickly.

    Vesta works with global businesses to reduce account fraud and ATO. Our platform combines biometric evaluation with machine learning. This creates an effective approach to stopping account fraud. Contact us today to learn more.


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