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Identity Fraud Rings Lurk Beneath the Surface Like a Disease

If you skip regular medical screenings, you assume the risk of not identifying diseases in their early stages – when they may be treatable. This is the ideal metaphor for fraud in financial institutions. Identity-related fraud rings lurk beneath the surface like a disease, growing and spreading without obvious indications of their presence. Unless institutions conduct the appropriate screenings, these rings may not be detected until they do irreparable damage.

Take new-account fraud and account takeover. If you’re not using adaptive screening to scrutinize the non-monetary transactions that lead to these devastating identity-related fraud schemes, then you are making it easy for fraudsters to invade your institution and wreak havoc on your reputation and bottom line.

  • Fraudulent applications > New-account fraud
  • Fraudulent profile changes > Account takeover

To protect your institution from threats, your controls and systems must detect identity-related fraud schemes at three levels:

Level #1: Common Schemes

Classic schemes for account takeover and new-account fraud are alive and well. Massive data breaches and credential spills have made it easier for fraudsters to find success, often sailing past security questions and traditional ID verification solutions. Fortunately, many institutions have adopted systems that combine predictive data, sophisticated analytics, risk and decisioning rules, to predict the likelihood of these common schemes.

Level #2: Variants on Common Schemes

Fraudsters make subtle changes to their schemes in order to avoid being detected by existing controls. To identify variants on common schemes, institutions should have a method for screening newly entered data (application or email, address, or phone number change) singularly as well as in combination with other identity data. This illuminates out-of-pattern behavior, which should be immediately investigated.

Level #3: Emerging Fraud Rings and Schemes

To connect the dots that reveal fraud rings and complex schemes, it takes a comprehensive data science approach bolstered by a vast network of identity and shared financial institution data. In this approach, a fraud-detection platform applies sophisticated machine learning and analytical tools to draw inferences and deep connections among millions of seemingly unrelated data elements. Then the platform applies unsupervised anomaly detection to unearth any emerging patterns and data groupings data that could indicate new-account fraud or account takeover.

ID Insight: Three Levels of Detection and Protection

Platform-based solutions from ID Insight, accessed via API or core processor relationship, run behind the scenes in real time. They examine, analyze, and score the non-monetary events, delivering them to a case-management system within seconds – so investigators can prioritize their investigations on the most suspicious activity. Our solutions screen non-monetary transactions across:

  • Institution consortium data – to see inquiry velocity indicative of fraud rings and gain insight from the Fraud Investigation Network
  • Branch, call center, and digital channels – to uncover cross-channel attacks
  • Multiple datasets of identity information – to reduce false positives that create member friction

Platform-based Flexibility

There are no limits as to how or how often institutions can alter their decision rules or risk tolerance within ID Insight’s platform-based solutions. Fraudsters, like viruses, are continually mutating and evolving their attacks. Institutions must have the flexibility to ensure that their detection and inoculation approaches are also evolving. The financial health of the institution depends on it.


An efficient, cost-effective solution to screen address, phone number, and email changes for account takeover attempts.


A next-generation identity verification solution that uses patented analytics and proprietary address change data.


A powerful, adaptive scoring solution using  consortium data, proprietary information, and patented analytics to uncover new-account fraud.


The industry’s premier database of known fraud and suspect addresses, used by the majority of the nation’s largest banking institutions.

Request a Demo

New! Discover how our Fraud Investigation Network helps fraud investigators across the country join forces in the battle against account takeover and new-account fraud. Financial institutions can access the Fraud Investigation Network through our distribution partners or directly through ID Insight solutions. Click here to check out a four-minute demo video.