Over the last decade or so, identity theft has become a nightmare. You’ve heard the horror stories of data breaches, personal information becoming a commodity on the dark web, and unauthorized lines of credit being opened without consent. It’s unnerving to think that with just a few tidbits of personal information, some nefarious individual could set up an entire front pretending to be someone they’re not without ever leaving the comfort of their evil lair. Think of all the complimentary identity theft protection services you’ve been issued due to the myriad of data breaches everywhere you shop. Those courtesy services are one way to mend such attacks — though they’re more of a fix after the fact. Another, more immediate form of protection is brand protection services.

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In 2020, the FTC received more than 2.3 million fraud reports, the most common type being imposter scams. About one in five of those imposter scams resulted in lost money, ultimately totaling in $1.2 billion lost. The FTC also received nearly 1.4 million reports of identity theft, about doubling the number from the previous year. There were 164 million exposed records in 2019.

So yes, identity theft and imposter scams are a very real problem.

These scenarios aren’t just bad for consumers, they’re bad for business. There are the obvious and immediate consequences, of course, but businesses must also consider the long-term cost of the erosion of trust too.

Brand imposters that attempt to defraud consumers over the telephone do unmeasurable damage to an enterprise. These bad actors impersonate an enterprise agent to steal the customer’s identity, access their account, make fraudulent purchases, and any other evil they can concoct. The result: these “fraud campaigns” sully the company’s reputation as well as eat up significant funds in remediation and prevention.

The most common form of these impersonations occurs via voice phishing attacks, otherwise known as “vishing.” In other words, fraudsters have the resources to attempt tens of millions of low-cost attacks (“phishing”) over the phone (“voice”) until they are successful. Customers victimized by these campaigns often lose trust in the brand name and express their dismay from every one of their social networks. Now the cost of the attack has effectively compounded.

The lesson to consumer victims: don’t blindly trust callers to be who they say they are. Don’t even trust your caller ID. Keep up heightened skepticism (and perhaps consider free robocall blocking by YouMail), and you may survive.

The lesson to enterprises: You need a better plan than to offer your customers protection after the fact. (And they likely already have such a program in place from the last data breech.) That better plan is a brand impersonation defender.

Defend Your Brand From Impostors

Where enterprises are vulnerable to impersonators who initiate vishing attacks, a brand impersonation defender can continuously manage and mitigate that risk. A defender combines AI-driven analytics with proven threat mitigation actions to stop bad actors before they have a chance to cause substantial damage.

YouMail Brand Impersonation Defender, for example, provides a dashboard that continuously monitors fraud activity and measures the scope and intent of each unique brand impersonation campaign. It maintains full nationwide risk visibility and enables fast, effective management strategies, all thanks to YouMail’s Threat Database. This is the same data source relied on by the US government, telecommunications industry authorities, and leading consumer brands to monitor and manage consumer robocall risk.

That’s right, the same data we use to protect John Q. Public also happens to be invaluable in protecting businesses and brand reputation.

An AI-driven analytics engine tracks bad actors and their campaigns independent of their tactics, enabling enterprises to be constantly vigilant against attacks. It correlates campaigns with bad actors so that businesses can prioritize mitigation activities for maximum impact.

YouMail Brand Impersonation Defender works on your behalf, intervening along with telecommunications authorities to stop fraud at the source. This is zero-hour threat detection that rapidly identifies those driving fraud campaigns. And by combining the 10-million node YouMail Sensor Network with patented AI algorithms to detect new threats within minutes, fraudulent activities — including vishing — are shut down, preserving trust and future sales revenue opportunities.

Our technology is so effective, it creates unique digital fingerprints that are matched with the telephone numbers used by bad actors. These digital fingerprints efficiently and effectively identify subsequent attacks that are part of the same imposter calling campaign. Our adaptive algorithms autonomously identify imposter campaigns and all associated source phone numbers, enabling immediate and decisive action.

You finally have the power to stop impostor attacks and put some respect back on your good name. Schedule a demo now to see how YouMail Brand Impersonation Defender can help you.

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