Danny Ocean taught us quite a bit about fraudster tactics as he carefully selected all the special skills needed by each member of his crew in Ocean’s 11. Just like the smooth, well-coordinated crew in the film, cybercriminals will often combine their skills and know-how to conduct complex fraudulent schemes. These well-orchestrated attacks can be nearly impossible to detect as they span different businesses, industries and geographic regions.

For example, imagine a fictional online sleuther named Susan. She knows where to go on the dark web to purchase names, passwords and social security numbers of unsuspecting consumers. She then uses a social media site in a credential stuffing scheme, trying out combinations of identity elements to see what works.

Susan shares the verified identities with others in her circle. Karen takes the verified identities to start applying for short-term loans while Chad uses them to apply for credit cards and then purchase expensive technology equipment. Chad ships the items to a neighbor’s address, closely tracking the items until they arrive at the receiving warehouse. As soon as they arrive, he goes online to change the delivery address to a storage facility to avoid alerting the retailer. Upon reselling the expensive equipment and the cash from the loans, the fraud ring has accumulated a nice little bounty.

Fighting these well-orchestrated fraud rings is nearly impossible without coordinated collaboration by fraud analysts across different businesses and industries. That is where network associations come in: the power of a cross-industry consortium that becomes a massive, fraud-fighting web.

Guilt by association

Fraudsters may use the same device across multiple businesses, different devices within the same business, or they may coordinate with each other on a more targeted multifaceted attack like the one described above. When a single business is looking at a device or account, it may not be able to see anything suspicious happening until it’s too late. However, when fraud teams from different industries and businesses share their experiences with fraudulent schemes, they can use the power of collaboration to uncover these complex schemes:

  • The social media site would have flagged Susan from her credential stuffing scheme because her device had been associated with fraud from a similar attack she had performed at an online retailer nine months ago.
  • The online lender stopped Karen from applying for short-term loans because her device had evidence of loan stacking fraud placed by another online lending subscriber in the consortium.
  • The credit card issuer would not allow Chad to apply for a new credit card when they saw previous shipping fraud associated with his device.

The consortium provides fraud prevention teams with real-time insights into a device’s fraud history. With over 76 million confirmed fraud reports from our network of 4,900 fraud analysts, organizations have the insights they need to stop a bad device, even if it’s the first time they’ve seen it.

Our unique device and account associations take those insights one step further, showing both direct and associated fraud to uncover those previously hidden fraud rings. We are very excited to introduce these new enhancements to our fraud mapping technology.

New fraud mapping associations graph

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Our new associations graph makes it easier than ever for fraud analysts to connect the dots between devices and accounts. This enhanced visualization quickly and easily reveals the scale and complexity of connections between devices and accounts, contrasting the normal patterns that represent good consumers with those abnormal patterns indicative of fraud rings.

Even if a device doesn't appear to be implicated in previous fraud activities, the new graph provides context regarding the device's relationship to known fraudulent accounts and their associated devices. Real-time device intelligence and enhanced fraud mapping tools can enable you to keep fraudsters from hurting your business while providing your customers with a positive, streamlined experience.

Find out more about how to discover fraud rings through associations with this video from Scott Waddell, Chief Technology Officer.