The Role of Malware in Account Takeovers

With the evolution of mobile technology, customers can now manage their accounts and access products and services from almost anywhere in the world. Although this convenience is welcome technology for consumers and businesses alike, it also opens the door for fraudulent activity. By exploiting even the smallest security flaws on devices or tricking customers into divulging account information and personal details, account takeover fraud continues to wreak havoc in the global marketplace.

Malware is one method that criminals employ in order to steal valuable information from unsuspecting consumers. However, a strong identity verification and fraud prevention program can help detect fraud before that stolen information or infected device can be used to take over a consumer’s account. Malware is a term people are familiar with, but they may not know exactly the forms it can take and how it plays a role in account takeovers.

What Does Malware Do to Your Device and What Are the Risks?

Malware can be spread by numerous ways. What makes malware so dangerous is that most of the time a user never knows that his or her device has been infected. Common tactics used by fraudsters to spread malware is through a process called phishing, a process in which emails that appear to be from legitimate sources are sent to individuals. These emails may claim that a person needs to click a link to visit a website in order to confirm their identity by providing account details. Instead, users are taken to a malicious website and unknowingly hand over their information, such as account numbers, login credentials and Social Security Numbers, directly to criminals.

Other forms of malware include Trojan viruses that are installed on a phone, tablet, or computer, and which require little to no intervention on the fraudster’s end. Often a Trojan virus, such as a keystroke logger, lives within an Internet browser and is brought to life when someone clicks a bad link or visits a fraudulent website. The virus then can record a customer’s user ID and password when he or she goes to a banking site or, in some cases, automatically modify transactions made to send money straight to a fraudster.

For organizations, this means that customers’ accounts can be compromised without their knowing, making it even more important to ensure that their customers are who they say they are and that their device is not infected with harmful malware during every interaction. The IDology platform can help you accomplish this goal through our robust and multi-layered id verification and fraud prevention platform. Contact us to find out how.

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