Purchase scams

A Purchase Scam refers to fraud where individuals are deceived into making payments for
goods or services that are never received.

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Problem overview

A Purchase Scam can involve fake online stores, bogus listings, or misleading advertisements that trick victims into parting with their money only to discover later that the goods or services will never arrive.

Typically, purchase scams involve a perpetrator selling high-value items such as cars, computers, phones, glamorous vacations, or sought-after concert tickets, which they promote at an incredibly low cost to entice buyers.

Although, with these services, the legitimate providers consistently present secure payment choices, the offender manipulates the victim into opting for a bank transfer as a payment method instead. Subsequently, after the victim sends the money, the scammer disappears without a trace.

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A differentiated approach to tackling Purchase Scams


In instances where the fraudster is trying to convince the victim to make a deceitful transfer while on the phone, behavioral biometrics intelligence can be leveraged. This involves scrutinizing the ongoing call to detect signs of hesitation, mouse doodling, phone motion, and the dictation of an account number. These behaviors are strong indications the fraudster is in the process of persuading the victim to make the transfer.

In cases where the victim completes the transfer independently, there are additional revealing cues to consider — for instance, evaluating the transfer context, examining connections to new beneficiaries, and scrutinizing transactions to high-risk account destinations.

In summary, effectively countering Purchase Scams necessitates a comprehensive analysis of behavioral, device, and network intelligence simultaneously. This gives financial institutions more insight and opportunity to shut down deceitful transfers before the purchase money is gone.


People reported a Purchase Scam in 2022


Unlocking the Power of Analytics to Combat Financial Scams

Watch this webinar hosted by Suzanne Sando, Senior Javelin Analyst, and Tyler Thisse, Threat Analyst at BioCatch, to learn how unlocking the power of analytics can help financial institutions beat scams.

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Additional scams
use cases 

Impersonation scams

In impersonation scams, fraudsters often adopt the disguise of a well-known organization, such as the police, a customer's bank, their utility provider, or a government department. By impersonating these trusted entities, scammers aim to manipulate and deceive individuals into transferring money to an account under their control. 

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Remote access attacks

Legacy fraud prevention controls have limited or no ability to detect remote access attacks. When a remote access tool is present on a user’s device, the bank’s systems detect a genuine device fingerprint, with no traces of proxy, code injections, or malware, and with the proper IP and geo-location. 

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Peer to peer fraud

A Peer-to-Peer (P2P) scam is typically when a fraudster poses as a legitimate business and requests payment from the victim for a product or service that never materializes. 

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