Someone purporting to be a bank employee called a customer. According to the representative, they were notified that someone at the bank was planning to hack into the customer’s account.
They could catch this crook if they worked together, but the representative would need the customer’s help, and the best way for him to help was to transfer the entirety of his accounts — both checking and savings — into what the representative referred to as a “suspense account,” which they had created specifically for this purpose at a different bank.
The bogus bank employee then told the customer to expect a call from someone impersonating a bank official. This guy would put everything the apparent agent had informed the customer thus far into question — but the representative assured him that this was all part of the deceit.
The claimed agent told the customer to tell the person on the other end of the phone that he was having work done on his house, which would explain why he needed to pay so much money.
When the behavioral analytics team flagged these transactions as suspicious, the customer’s bank called.
Fortunately, after speaking with the client, the analyst fielding the call had a gut feeling that something was amiss and was able to enquire about the man reportedly completing work on the customer’s home, such as his name and where the customer had found him.
When the customer hesitated to supply his name since he didn’t have one, the analyst noticed something was wrong and enquired whether someone impersonating a bank employee had called the customer.
“Fortunately,” Roger Lester, account director at Featurespace in the United Kingdom, said in an interview, “the customer suddenly began to mistrust the first contact and assume that when the bank contacted him, it was the actual bank.”