There is a high need to understand the attacking individuals and fraud industry. Without understanding the attacker, in this case, the fraudster, any preventive implementation and action may cause new weaknesses and gaps in your business or personal life.
Fraudsters can be part of an organized group or independent criminals. However, most fraudulent activities are committed by groups. Many fraudsters engage in repeated fraudulent activities as a full-time business.
While they are opportunistic attackers, they also do their homework, analyze human psychology, monitor trends, events, technologies, and legal developments. Moreover, they conduct a number of research and development tests before they launch their fraudulent initiatives to make them low-risk, high-reward ventures. Understanding their behavior, resources, and patterns is crucial for effective prevention and investigation.
Fraudster Skills and Knowledge
Fraudsters typically possess specific skills and knowledge pertinent to their chosen type of fraud. For example, cyber fraudsters often have advanced IT skills, on the other hand, insurance fraudsters in most cases are fully aware of the insurance system, both legally and in practice, including the targeted insurance businesses.
Resources and Tools of Fraudster
Technological Tools: For cyber frauds, tools include malware, phishing kits, and software for hacking or data encryption.
Often, initial capital is required to set up schemes, particularly in investment frauds or corporate fraud, such as accounts, counterfeited digital and hard copy documents, images, profiles.
Networks and Connections
Many fraudsters operate within networks, sharing information, tools, and techniques.
Fraudsters are highly adaptable, often changing tactics in response to increased security measures or law enforcement efforts. They stay abreast of new technologies and societal trends to exploit new opportunities. Some of criminals are much more innovative than the industry itself.
Despite their illegal activities, fraudsters often engage in their own forms of risk management, such as diversifying fraudulent activities or using proxies in the online world, benefiting from money mules and similar.
They are adept at exploiting system vulnerabilities and manipulating human psychology. Other than amateur actors, a big portion of the fraud industry, while they are developing attack schemes, at the same time they create and place their cover protection. Almost no fraudster group implements any malicious activity without securing themselves first. This makes it difficult for corporate and law enforcement investigations. However, as business people do, they also make several mistakes and fail to cover their real identities and motivators. This is the first task of the investigation team is to define these potential gap areas and detail them with utmost care.
A key trait is the ability to manipulate others. They exploit emotions like fear, greed, or the desire to trust, to deceive their victims.
The primary motivation for most fraudsters is financial gain. Some may be driven by financial desperation, while others are motivated by greed. To create richness and increase their fraud revenue, they make investment, hire team members and make advertisements.
Thrill and Ego
For some, the thrill of deceiving others or outsmarting systems can be a motivating factor. Underground platforms have a number of posts where perpetrators introduce themselves as heroes after successful fraud, boasting about outsmarting full companies and individuals. Ego plays a role, with some fraudsters taking pride in their ability to manipulate and deceive.
It is not so common, but some competing actors take the competition to an illegal level and hire fraudsters to create a number of problems for their competitors.
In summary, fraudsters are typically characterized by their adaptability, resourcefulness, and skills in manipulation and deception. They often engage in repeated fraudulent activities, using various resources and tools at their disposal. Understanding these characteristics of this illegal business is crucial for effective prevention and investigation.
We have helped businesses profile their attacking groups. At the end of our input, prevention methods worked better. When there were incidents, the frequency was lower compared to before, and the success rate of identifying a fraudster’s identity increased.
One of the clients told Coinsec, “We were fighting with ghosts, and now we understand who is attacking us. They were understanding us and succeeding in bypassing our security measures, but we didn’t invest time to understand the criminals. Now we understand their potential and strategies before we place a new product in our portfolio, and this has made a big change in lowering incidents.