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Frankenstein IDs Become Increasingly Sophisticated

Companies will have to use identity verification technology that can keep up with fraud tactics

There are many amazing practical applications of AI and machine learning here now and on the horizon. But that doesn’t mean every use is good or applied with good intent.

The fastest growing type of financial crime in the United States is synthetic identity fraud - when a fraudster uses a combination of real and fake information to create an entirely new identity. This progressive uptick in synthetic identity fraud is likely due to multiple factors such as data breaches, dark web data access, and the competitive lending landscape.

In Experian’s recent Future of Fraud Forecast, they are predicting that these fraudsters will start to use fake faces for biometric verification, which is the first of five new threats they detail for 2021.

These “Frankenstein IDs” will use AI to combine facial characteristics from different people to form a new identity, creating a challenge for businesses relying on facial recognition technology as a significant part of their fraud prevention strategy.

At the beginning of last year, people were concerned with audio/video being manipulated to create deep fakes, believable pieces of fake content. Frankenstein IDs are not new. The Verge, in 2019, detailed the This Person Does Not Exist website that allows people to keep clicking and auto-generating real looking faces of people that do not exist.

The rapid adoption could be the latest sophistication of online fraud. 2020 saw a lot of businesses have to go mostly or completely digital due to the pandemic. Any time there are quick shifts in technology by any business, there are new and unforeseen vulnerabilities.

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