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Aite Group forecasts that account takeover losses in call centers will nearly double to $775 million in 2020, from $393 million in 2015. Data collected at Pindrop Labs has shown a significant increase in the call center fraud rate, a jump of 113% from 2015 to 2016 with an increase in fraudulent calls to one in 937 calls into a call center in 2016, from one in every 2000 calls just a year earlier.

Is this rise attributable to a shift in fraudsters' modus operandi due to EMV’s role in mitigating card present fraud? As with online fraud, a straight cause and effect is too simple to imply — fraud is growing at a rate beyond what can be attributed to EMV.

“We believe the spike in fraud between 2015 to 2016 to partially be driven by EMV — and it’s not just coincidental, because we saw the exact same trend in the UK several years ago around the adoption of EMV cards in the UK,” says David Dewey, director of research at Pindrop.

However, others are less certain about causality.

“There was recognition in many financial institutions that contact centers were being attacked to enable cross-channel fraud well before EMV rollout,” says Shirley Inscoe, senior analyst at Aite Group. “Contact center fraud likely would have continued to flourish regardless of the EMV rollout, but due to it, fraudsters may be focusing on contact centers even more than they might have without the EMV impact.”


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