Phone scams have been around for quite some time now, but they have never targeted businesses before like the way they are doing now. Wall Street Journal reported that cybercriminals used AI to mimic the voice of a CEO and managed to steal $243,000 in one of its kind voice fraud.
They asked the person on the other side of the phone to transfer money and pretended to be the CEO of one of the suppliers.
According to the Pin drop Voice Intelligence report, 90 voice fraud attacks take place every minute. Previously, the success rate was dismally low but that is about to change with hackers using AI to impersonate the CEO’s voice. Knowledge Base Authentication complicate matters even more as cyber attackers can answer knowledge base authentication option in most cases.
In this article, you will learn about seven effective ways in which you can prevent voice fraud.
1. Don’t Receive Calls from Unknown People
The easiest way to protect yourself from voice fraud is to avoid attending calls from unknown numbers. As soon as your phone rings, you should look at the number on the caller ID. Can you recognize that number? If no, then you should transfer the call to voicemail.
In most cases, these fraudsters don’t respond. If they do, ask them about their organization. Visit the website of the company and look for its contact number. Make a phone call to check whether the company really exists or not. Although this might seem like a tedious process at least it will save you from the ever-growing threat of voice fraud.
2. Never Give Too Much Information Too Soon
Cybercriminals can spoof contact numbers from your phone and use AI-based software to mimic the voices of people you know. That is why it is important what information you share first. Start off by asking how they got your number.
If the caller on the other side of the phone asks for sensitive information such as social security number or credit card number, it should send the alarm bells ringing. Be careful when you are sharing information on the phone and only share information when you are sure that the person you are talking to is the person you know.
3. Know the Warning Signs
Some voice fraudsters also send an email with a link to a corrupted audio file that would compromise your system. Check the file format and scan the file with an antivirus program.
Avoid clicking and downloading any files sent to you via email. Even worse, it can also contain ransom ware which might make your data stored in best dedicated servers inaccessible and ask you to pay a ransom in return.
You should also watch out for “Deep Fake Audio” attacks from inside your own organization. In most cases, an employee might be pretending to be the CEO of the company and asking you to transfer huge sums of money into his or her bank account. To make it tough for you to pick whether the email is real or fake, they try to make it as authentic as possible.
4. Have a Comprehensive Contact List?
Most people are reluctant to maintain an extensive contact list because they fear that their contacts can be spoofed. Despite all this, it is still a good idea to create a comprehensive contact list especially when it comes to business contacts.
If you are one of those who receive many calls from marketing and sales, this tactic can come in handy as you rarely see an unknown number. It gives you a clear indication of who you are talking to so you can change your tone and message accordingly.
5. Voice Biometrics and Phone Printing
Just like your fingerprint, every person’s voice is different. This means that you can also use voice to authenticate users just like you use fingerprints. Some businesses are planning to adopt voice biometrics while others are busy in implementing phone printing technology.
Phone printing systems record key characteristics of the caller when he or she calls for the first time. This makes it easy for businesses to block unwanted calls from fraudsters, which minimizes the risk of voice-based frauds.
6. Incident Response for Internal Threats
As mentioned before, most of the voice fraud is an inside job or has some inside element involved in it. Despite this, most businesses tend to ignore the internal threat and are always looking to protect against external threats.
The best way to cope with internal voice-based frauds is to involve multiple stakeholders and add additional steps. Create a policy that only allows financial transactions to take place only when they get past the number of checks instead of relying on a single person to authenticate the payment.
Ask for information that confirms that the person who will receive the payment is genuine and not fake. In this case, the more information you ask for, the better. Yes, it might make the payment transfer process daunting, but it will also prevent voice frauds and stop hackers from getting away with your money.
7. Beware of Calls from Credit Bureaus
If your business accepts credit card payments, then you might be getting many calls from credit bureaus. In most cases, they will call you to inform you about the fraud with a credit cardholder.
Fraudsters know that and can use it as an opportunity to trick you into paying you huge sums of money. Apply the same rule of not sharing too much information with them too early.
Inquire about the business unit they are calling from and tell them that you will call them back. Never call them if they leave a voicemail. Use that time to contact a credit card provider or bank website and tell them the whole story that you got a call from a particular department. This way, you can easily know whether they are real or fake.
How do you protect your business from voice fraud? Let us know in the comments section below.
Author Bio: Imran Thayani is an SEO specialist with more than 6 years of experience in promoting and marketing brands in the digital world. He loves to read and share his digital marketing experience with the rest of the community. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling to exotic places, plays badminton, and goes swimming. LinkedIn