This October, as part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we're spotlighting the challenges posed by AI fraud in Sweden and beyond.
A recent survey by YouGov, commissioned by us at Tietoevry Banking, reveals that 13 percent of Swedes, either personally or within their family, have faced financial fraud in the last year. Data from the Swedish Police underscores the urgency, indicating a staggering 5.8 billion SEK lost to fraud in 2022 alone. This trend isn't unique to Sweden; we're seeing similar patterns globally. Join us this Cybersecurity Month in fortifying our defenses against fraud and promoting a safer digital world.
These enormous sums can partly explained by a rise in fraud involving social manipulation. This might refer to phone scams (vishing) where criminals pretend to be employees of a bank or authority. The fraudsters typically target older individuals, often 80 years or older. This type of fraud affects individuals and severely impacts trust in banks, authorities, and society negatively.
At the same time, digitization and the emergence of new technologies like AI present both opportunities and threats. Criminals can easily set up websites that closely resemble a bank or online store, and with the help of AI, fraudsters can effortlessly simulate real people through both text and voice, known as “deepfakes”. It's therefore not surprising that as much as 41 percent of Swedes state, according to our study, that they are concerned that AI can increase the risk of fraud.
AI and digital solutions also have the potential to become powerful tools in the fight against financial fraud. With the ability to analyze vast amounts of data, AI can identify unusual patterns and detect potential frauds faster and more efficiently than ever before. Last year, we helped banks prevent hundreds of millions of SEK from being stolen from individuals' bank accounts and credit cards. This was made possible by identifying suspicious account transfers and card transactions using digital solutions such as AI and machine learning.
But more than technology is needed to tackle this issue. We also need strong and coordinated collaboration between banks, authorities, tech companies, and even individuals. Such cooperation would enable information exchange, identify, and respond to threats faster, and simultaneously educate the general public about risks and how to protect themselves against fraud. There is a need for increased information sharing between different actors to quickly detect and prevent the ever more sophisticated frauds.
During the Swedish political week at Almedalen in Visby, we convened a panel of experts from the Swedish Police, Swedish Tax Agency, and the Swedish Banking Association to delve deep into the challenges of financial fraud. As we mark Cybersecurity Month this October, we invite you to watch this enlightening discussion and gain insights from the frontlines.
John Erik's five tips to reduce the risk of falling victim to AI fraud
Fraudsters are often professional actors, and anyone can be deceived. With the rapid development of AI, there are five things everyone can consider:
✅ Verify the identity of people who contact you: Fraudsters can exploit AI to create synthetic voices and conduct phone scams. It's also possible to recreate voices of people you know and trust. If in doubt, ask control questions and request the person contacting you to verify themselves with information only they would know.
✅ Never disclose sensitive information in calls or messages: Be especially cautious with unexpected communications asking for personal or financial details. Do not approve any logins or transactions upon request without verifying the purpose. It's common for fraudsters to claim they are calling from a bank or authority.
✅ Be skeptical of unexpected messages: Think twice before clicking on links or opening attachments. Be wary of messages asking for quick money transfers from friends or family. Their email or social media accounts might have been compromised.
✅ Be aware that public information can be exploited: Remember that all information shared publicly, both on social media and in other digital environments, is also accessible to criminals. Personal information can be used by fraudsters to craft convincing scams. With AI, it's possible to mimic individuals in voice, image and text.
✅ Beware of fake online stores: Many card frauds occur through fake online stores designed to resemble reputable and established online retailers. Therefore, double-check the web address carefully and be skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true.
With over 25 years’ experience in digital identity, John Erik Setsaas is a pioneer in this space. He has deep knowledge in the areas of digital onboarding, authentication, electronic signatures and seals, time stamping and digital identity wallet.
He is a prolific speaker at fintech industry events around the world.