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Leprechauns and Fraudsters Are Going for the Gold and Green

posted on: Thu Mar 16 2017

St. Patrick’s Day means different things to different people, but the common (commercialized) theme is this: leprechauns and gold. 

Around this time of year in elementary schools across the country, a fuss is being made over “catching” leprechauns. Students make traps out of shoeboxes and glue, and on March 17th they will find that they have not caught a leprechaun but instead some gold chocolate coins.

For the older and wiser among us, reading the Kount Blog at this very moment, we know that leprechauns don’t exist. However, we can appreciate the many similarities our verdant little friends have with today’s fraudsters.

They hide their gold in obscure places…

Leprechauns hide their gold “at the bottom of a rainbow,” which, if you are familiar with physics…is an impossible location to access. Fraudsters use sophisticated combinations of off-shore accounts, the dark web, and underground marketplaces to conceal and transfer their stolen cash.

They are tricksters…

Leprechauns are famously cunning and mischievous. Likewise, the fraudster uses every trick in the book to make merchants believe that abnormal behavior is not suspicious, or that shipping, billing, and IP-geo locations don’t really need to match on an order. When one door closes for a fraudster, they find an open window. For example, EMV adoption has led fraudsters to abandon certain tactics in favor of online and CNP fraud.

But they still leave a trace…

Leprechauns leave behind chocolate, gold coins, little green footprints, and sometimes even a poem or riddle. Similarly, no matter how sophisticated a fraudster’s operation, it also always leaves a trace, whether it’s an IP-geo location that raises a red flag or billing information that just doesn’t match up. It is Kount’s job to identify and make sense of the clues fraudsters leave behind—like proxy piercing to reveal the true location of a fraudster or persona linking technology to identify key characteristics with each transaction.

One difference, between leprechauns and fraudsters, however, is that Kount’s data scientists and engineers have come up with ways to catch fraudsters! Kount Complete™ undergoes reviews, updates and feature enhancements every quarter, reviewing hundreds of data points to detect irregularities in customer behavior such as this and warn merchants in less than 300 milliseconds.

As for catching leprechauns, the kids will just have to keep trying!

Artificial Intelligence + Human Insight