Stop the Rise of Phone Scams with Chat Platforms

Americans lost $29.8 billion to phone scams in 2021, according to Truecaller, with around 59.4 million Americans losing money – 19% of whom have fallen victim more than once. This shows that fraudsters are not only prolific, but they’re also getting much smarter at how they engage with targets. While people are often warned about potential scams, the warning either comes too late or isn’t even acknowledged – this is because the wrong communication platform is being used to alert customers. Chat platforms, which are used by billions the world over every day, are the simplest and most effective way to share fraud alerts and cyber security alerts with your customers.

What are the prevalent phone scams?

Mobile phones have brought the world much closer together. Unfortunately, they’ve also brought unscrupulous fraudsters closer to us all, with innovative ways to scam unsuspecting victims out of their money being developed daily. The mobile phone also means there are several ways to defraud someone – whether it’s via email, SMS, chat, chatbots, or voice calls. Phishing has emerged as a way to deceive victims into sharing personal, sensitive or confidential information by using these various chat routes. Some scams tend to work better than others, which is why they constantly reappear over the years. 

-   Bank scams

The customers of banks and other financial institutions are some of the biggest targets when it comes to phone scams, yet not enough of them are alerting their customers about the threat via chat. Phishing scams involve contacting banking customers to say there is a problem with the account and they need to access it to rectify the issue. Often, they pretend there’s been unusual activity and put pressure on the victim to act quickly and recklessly. Other financial scams involve transferring funds to an account to see if  it’s operational. 

-  Government grant scams

During such desperate financial times as these, many people are falling victim to government grant scams. This is when someone pretending to be a government official gets in touch to say that they will deposit grant money into your account for a one-time processing fee. 

- Lottery scams

Winning a prize for something you never opted into is always too good to be true, and yet lottery scams remain a dominant phone scam today. Fraudsters contact random people, via SMS or phone call, to say they’ve won a lottery – either local or international – but they can only access the prize once they’ve paid a small fee.

-  Pyramid schemes

These come in many formats, but the basic concept is that scammers call up someone, inviting them to join as investors in a ‘multi-level marketing programme.’ Incomers are then tasked with scamming others, although the scheme will eventually collapse at some point. 

How can chat be used for fraud alerts? 

“As of January 2022, two billion users were accessing WhatsApp messenger every month. The app’s reach is usage penetration is particularly strong in markets outside of the United States and it is one of the most popular mobile social apps worldwide.” - Statista 

Chat messaging is prevalent on every continent across the globe, and the numbers are growing daily. Yet companies are still relying on email and phone calls to communicate with customers when chat is clearly the consumers’ channel of choice. Here’s how businesses can use chat for fraud alerts

Scenario 1

The bank notes unusual activity on a client’s accounts.

A chat message is sent to the client alerting them of this.

The client replies to say either it’s fine, or that this is suspicious.

The bank immediately freezes the account to prevent the transaction. 

Scenario 2

A client is making a transaction, so the bank sends a message via chat.

The client can then verify via the chat message.

The transaction is allowed to continue. 

Scenario 3

The bank notes a frequency of certain scams in an area.

The clients are alerted about the scam and how to avoid it via chat. 

Why is chat better for fraud alerts?

While chat is a popular communication tool, this isn’t the only reason that companies are turning to this platform for fraud and cyber security alerts. Some of the reasons include: 

  • Price: Chat is cost-effective and a much cheaper alternative to operator-based text messaging which makes it a money saver for business and customers – this is particularly true with international travel. Because it’s so effective, businesses are less likely to be paying out insurance claims making it even more appealing cost-wise. 

  • Less hassle: Dealing with call centres and phone queues is not only frustrating for customers, but they will also often lose patience and cancel the call. It’s also less hassle for call centre agents as they’re not having to field so many calls and queries.

  • Features: Chat apps also provide you with a range of features to better communicate with clients about fraud, including video and audio messaging, as well as graphics and emojis.

  • Two-way communication: Using the chat platform, businesses can alert customers to fraud but they can also receive instant feedback from customers.

  • In-built security: Chat comes with significant in-built security measures which makes protecting client data much easier. Likewise, mobile phones come with their own level of biometric security, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, alongside passwords. This makes the data that much more secure.

  • Customer history: The data gathered via chat interactions can also help businesses build a better customer profile, while also enabling quick access to previous interactions for reference. 

  • Less chance of error: When call centres are experiencing higher call volumes as a result of cyber security fraud, then there is more pressure on them to act quickly while dealing with irate clients. This leads to mistakes. Chat mitigates the risk of human error. 

Protect your customers and your business by incorporating Clickatell Protect. This allows you to send fraud alerts and cyber security alerts directly to your customers via secure chat apps that boast end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication, and privacy.

Step into the future of business messaging.

SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.