How to protect your customer chats from fraud

Sara Yonker

November 14, 2022

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Fraudbots, which are chatbots operated by cybercriminals, attack customer support chat channels at scale, aiming to access sensitive customer data and obtain payment methods. Once you know the threat is out there, how can you protect customer information and prevent customer support fraud?

We’ve identified three key steps to implement if you suspect a fraudbot could be attacking your customer communication channels.

1. Ask a human question.

Your customer service or sales agents likely stick to a standard script when operating a live 1:1 chat. This helps maintain quality of service and ensures you don’t forget any steps. However, if you suspect that you might have been a victim of fraudbot attacks, changing up your scripts for customer interactions will cause a fraudbot to misfire.

Cybercriminals build fraudbots based on interactions with your chatbot and your live chat agents. They know that most interactions follow a standard script. If your company recently became aware of fraudbot attacks, you can switch the order of questions, ask questions in a different way, or ask a question that isn’t in the standard script.

Just like a customer service agent over the phone might make small talk with a customer while accessing an account, asking someone an unexpected question that changes with each customer could spotlight potential fraudbots. Fraudbots won’t be able to adapt to off-the-cuff questions, potentially revealing suspicious behavior as it tries to access sensitive data.

2. Implement heightened security measures for some transactions

Chat conversations are more convenient for customers. But in the interest of account security, convenience shouldn’t be your only concern. If you’re allowing customers to access sensitive information in a closed or locked account, make sure you have measures in place to verify their identity, or require a phone call to authorize some transactions.

3. Analyze conversations at scale for red flags

If you’re chatting with a fraudbot, you aren’t likely to notice. That’s because conversations with bots mimic real conversations. We’ve even seen instances of bots imitating human emotions.

To catch fraudbots,you need to analyze your chat conversations en masse to find patterns that signify unusual activity.  

Finding fraudbots without AI is impossible. Our minds can’t process all of the words, phrases, behaviors, timing, and digital fingerprints that identify a fraudbot.
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To protect against fraudulent chatbots, you need to proactively monitor for bots attacking your system – not wait until data breaches occur. Monitoring your chat conversations at scale requires a fraudbot detection system that combines advanced conversation intelligence with AI-powered fraud pattern recognition.

Platforms with deep machine learning capabilities and advanced linguistics understanding can examine your conversations and detect when a bot attacks your system.

What to do if you find fraudbots attacking your chat

If you find bots attacking your chat, it’s time to take action.

Once you know the conversational pattern of the bots, you can program your chat system to recognize known bots. This can include identifying the key phrases and patterns used by the bot.

You can also identify what the fraudbots tried to accomplish, and modify existing policies or create new ones if needed.

But above all else, you need to stay on guard. Keeping your system free of fraudbots requires consistent, vigilant monitoring of your conversations.

Want to learn more about how fraudbots operate and how companies use Tethr to detect them? Get a copy of our ebook, The Rise of the Fraudbot, here.

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