What Is Call Center Fraud And How To Prevent It?

Call center fraud occurs when an individual contacts an organization’s call center, pretending to be someone; they are not. The aim is to access the information of the organization’s customers. According to some studies, the incidence of call center fraud in the US alone has risen by 30% since 2013. Criminals contact the call center with specific information on a customer to gain complete control of their account or to create a new account in someone else’s name. Call center fraud is not isolated to any one field or industry but is instead prevalent in any organization that has call centers.

How Does Call Center Fraud Work?

While there are many ways in which call center fraud transpires, there are a few common tactics that criminals will fall back on.

How Does Call Center Fraud Work?
  • Migration of Records: During a merger between two organizations or a move of the headquarter, the records of existing customers are unorganized and disrupted. Perpetrators can take advantage of this small window of chaos to gain access to customers’ accounts and make changes such that it benefits them.
  • Human Error: In a call center, the only thing between an imposter imitating as a client and the accounts is a very human call center operator. These operators are trained to help customers and provide a solution that leads to their satisfaction. Criminals know this and use frustration as a tactic to manipulate the call center operators into giving them access to a wide range of information.
  • Authentication: Cybersecurity has come a long way since its inception and is increasingly difficult for criminals to crack. However, telephonic security is still stuck in a bygone era. Call centers routinely use authentication systems that are archaic and extremely easy to hack.
  • IVR: Interactive Voice Response systems are even more natural to crack since the authentication system they use is basic. Criminals can easily find the necessary information and exploit the IVR to change PINs, get new debit cards sent to different addresses, and more.

How To Prevent Call Center Fraud?

For such a complicated situation as call center fraud, the solution, too, needs to be multi-layered. No one single action can halt call center fraud in its tracks. Here are a few different ways in which call center fraud can be stopped.

How To Prevent Call Center Fraud?
  • Employee training: One of the most critical areas that need to be addressed is the lack of awareness most call center operatives have, on the issue of fraud. Employees need to be well-trained in the various security procedures and policies to stay vigilant.
  • Authentication: Organizations should focus much of their energy on using new and improved methods of authentication. Systems codes sent to the registered email or mobile number can significantly increase security.
  • Sensitive Transactions: Some types of transactions should be limited or denied in place of further authorization or authentication. This includes a change in address.
  • Voice Biometrics: Using voice biometrics could be the new gold standard in security procedures for call centers. It relies on the voice of the customer and not on any other information that could be obtained by criminals.
    Organizations could choose to use Text-dependent voice biometrics where a customer has to say a predetermined sentence. The new phase of this technology, however, is moving towards text-independent, where the system will be able to recognize a customer’s voice without having to hear a particular set of words.


Call center fraud is a constant and genuine menace that companies and individuals are continually trying to fight. It is a real threat that can jeopardize organizations financially and institutionally in a grave sense. While being cautious about sharing information over the phone to call center representatives is crucial, it is also equally important for companies to train their representatives and consumers to be aware of this threat by using voice biometrics, authentication techniques, and regular employee training.

It is also essential for consumers to understand what information is considered sensitive. This is why a lot of banks have started sending messages on their IVR, stating CVV, OTP, and other codes should not be shared even with their representatives. Similar educational means are needed to help combat fraud through call centers.

The crucial issue with call center fraud is prevention. The most significant problem with call center fraud is that once it takes place, finding a resolution that helps both the consumer and company is rare. These frauds usually take place with clients that are easier to manipulate, such as senior citizens. Companies must ensure adequate monitoring of their employees and client backgrounds and launch educational campaigns with these clients in mind as well. Training should include the legal ramifications of fraudulent activity as well as a clear example of what this activity means.

CUNextGen’s MRM Platform Connects Siloed Systems, Provides RPA, Chatbot and AI Services with Next-Generation Technology

Effectively managing complex member relationships is essential to delivering the kind of consumer experience now required to remain relevant and competitive in today’s financial services market. However, too often a credit union’s unintegrated systems create information silos, making it difficult to impossible to see the full details of a member’s relationship with a credit union in one place, much less take action on all of a member’s needs.

A collaboration between Members Development Company (MDC), a consortium of nearly 70 large and future-focused credit unions, and ClaySys Technologies, a technology company providing products focused in next-generation technology spaces, addressed this problem with the launch of CU NextGen.  The new CUSO’s core competencies center on the technologies of no-code app development, robotic process automation (RPA), and artificial intelligence, which form the foundation of its flagship offering, a new Member Relationship Management platform.

“Responding to a member’s direct interactions is the ultimate test of a credit union’s ability to serve consumers. In this age of Venmo, Amazon Prime and Uber Eats, when a member reaches out, they expect instant—or nearly instant—results,” said Kent Zimmer, MDC’s SVP of operations and CU NextGen’s interim CEO. “Sometimes a member’s request seems simple, but backend systems that don’t interface with each other mean credit unions have to develop manual procedures across multiple business units to complete them. At CU NextGen, our goal is to eliminate these complicated and inefficient processes, replacing them with a holistic solution for fulfilling the needs of members in the manner they’ve come to expect as 21st-Century consumers.”

The CUSO’s development is the direct result of work MDC and ClaySys conducted with MDC’s network of owners in implementing RPA solutions across a variety of high-volume workflows. During this collaboration, the two partners found significant gaps in credit unions’ abilities to fulfill members’ needs quickly and efficiently that could not be solved by RPA alone. A comprehensive view of a member’s accounts and the ability to act on that member’s needs from within a single system were needed.

“Every consumer wishes the companies they interact with could understand their needs quickly and just get it done for them,” said Vinod Tharakan, managing director of ClaySys Technologies and a CU NextGen board member. “When a member calls, emails or starts a chat session with your credit union, they want you to use what you already know about them to anticipate their needs and either proactively get it done or at least do it quickly once requested. This is the kind of member experience CU NextGen was built for.”

CU NextGen’s Member Relationship Management (MRM) platform uses RPA to virtually integrate a credit union’s siloed systems, allowing staff to act on member-facing needs from within a single set of screens. The MRM platform’s portfolio of ancillary services, offered across several modules, has been designed to either enhance member experience or make credit union operations more efficient. Because of the modular design, credit unions may choose to entirely replace existing customer relationship management systems or select just those modules needed to supplement its current technology.

Modules currently available:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM), providing MRM’s Member 360 view
  • Business Trouble Ticketing, initiating and tracking tasks across business units
  • AppForms (Forms/Workflows, eSign: DocuSign, Adobe Sign), creating new process streams
  • Knowledgebase, providing answers to chatbots and member-facing staff
  • Chatbots, allowing member self-service
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA), integrating systems, reducing data entry and retrieval, allowing human staff to focus on enhancing member experience.

Some MDC owners are using the AppForms module to build new, member-facing online account opening processes, which use RPA to create the appropriate records in the different backend systems. Others are using the CRM module’s Member 360 view in their call centers to reduce data entry and retrieval work—as well as hold times.

The use of no-code app development technology allows CU NextGen to rapidly build and deploy new custom solutions to address issues as they arise. For example, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recently implemented under the CARES Act created an avalanche of loan applications from small business members looking for relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, exposing bottlenecks in the existing processes used for processing these loans. In response, CU NextGen helped eight MDC credit unions set up an end-to-end solution for accepting PPP applications, processing them internally, and submitting them to the SBA, providing much-needed relief to members and their employees. Initial development and deployment of this solution with the CUSO’s first credit union client, VyStar Credit Union, took just 72 hours. CU NextGen ultimately helped the eight credit unions deliver 10,000 individual loans totaling over $300 million in small business relief.

“VyStar needed a solution that could help our business community keep tens of thousands of people employed by accessing the funds available through the SBA PPP program,” said Jenny Vipperman, Chief Lending Officer at VyStar Credit Union. “And we needed to automate it at scale in order to offer this to all business members. CU NextGen delivered.”

Board members for CU NextGen are: Timothy Antonition, President/CEO at Space Coast Credit Union ($45.2 billion in assets, 460,000 members); James Nastars, President/CEO at Meritrust Credit Union ($1.3 billion in assets, 105,000 members); Jeff Kline, President/CEO at MEMBERS Development Company; Tony Saldanha, President at Transformant (and formerly VP of Global Shared Services and CIO at Proctor & Gamble); and Vinod Tharakan, Managing Director at ClaySys Technologies.

For more information, visit CUNextGen.com.