Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Customer Contact Centers Offer Criminals Multiple Opportunities For Identity Theft, Study Shows

Date:
March 13, 2009
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
A survey of 45 customer contact centers in Glasgow, Scotland, has revealed that they offer criminals multiple opportunities for identity theft. Details show that agents at such centers commonly receive suspicious phone calls. Others reported having been offered money in exchange for private customer information.

A survey of 45 customer contact centres in Glasgow, Scotland, has revealed that they offer criminals multiple opportunities for identity theft. Details published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, show that agents at such centres commonly receive suspicious phone calls. Others reported having been offered money in exchange for private customer information.

Contact centres are the multimedia equivalent of the standard telephone call centre, providing customer care and acting as an information conduit for phone calls, email and fax, website feedback, and live online support.

Iain Moir and George Weir, of the University of Strathclyde, have identified specific practices within contact centres that may contribute to the likelihood of identity theft.

"The questionnaire indicated that 73% of the surveyed workers had dealt with a suspicious call," the researchers explain, "In all but one case, this was indicated to management. In finance, 100% reported that they had dealt with a suspicious phone call. This supports the view that the financial services sector bears the brunt of fraud attacks. In telecom and outsource, 60 and 70% of workers felt that they had dealt with suspicious phone calls, respectively."

Identity theft has become an increasingly prevalent form of fraud and represents a growing worry for individuals and businesses. Bribery of call and contact centre operatives and social engineering are reported as on the increase. However, Moir and Weir also point out that fraudsters may themselves gain employment in contact centres in order to gain access to personal information directly.

They point out that the tabloid preoccupation of "bin raiding" as a strategy for gaining information with which to carry out an identity theft and subsequent fraud is the least likely mechanism. Indeed, some offenders report that this simply doesn't happen, which is perhaps bad news for companies selling paper shredders. Instead, manipulation of employees at contact centres or direct theft of information is a more common source.

"Unfortunately, many contact centre agents are unaware of the risks and are untrained in how to deal with them," Moir and Weir explain, "This can result in severe financial loss to the customer along with the associated psychological trauma from having their identity stolen."

Since the survey was carried out, the UK's Call Centre Association, which aims to promote standards of practice in customer call centres, has now added a section to its "Global Standard" on the issue of fraud prevention. The researchers also point out that the Scottish Business Crime Centre has published a Good Practice Guide on fraud prevention in contact centres.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Customer Contact Centers Offer Criminals Multiple Opportunities For Identity Theft, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313080302.htm>.
Inderscience. (2009, March 13). Customer Contact Centers Offer Criminals Multiple Opportunities For Identity Theft, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313080302.htm
Inderscience. "Customer Contact Centers Offer Criminals Multiple Opportunities For Identity Theft, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313080302.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) Organizers of the People's Climate March and other rallies taking place in 166 countries hope to move U.N. officials to action ahead of their summit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins