Shazam! Experts Fell For a Fake Product From A Nonexistent Company In A Fraud Test

“Had this campaign been an online scam, 3.1% of the targeted individuals would have become victims to it, putting themselves at risk,” Trulioo said in its release.

The average conversion rate for an email promotion is around 2.35%, but that’s for real businesses, not fictitious companies promoting a phony product.

“It’s eye-opening to see this experiment result in 30% more sign-ups than the industry average conversion rates, especially given the tech-savvy audience targeted,” said Zac Cohen, general manager at Trulioo. “Awareness is a critical piece to reducing fraud and protecting users online.”

A simple Google search could have shown there was no information on an app called Aurdentity. Presumably at least a portion of the individuals who were invited to sign up did take a look for more information and decided not submit their personal information.

Trulioo suggests other ways to determine whether a site is legit such as checking the website’s related social media accounts, looking for comments by users, and other social media activity. One can also make an assessment based on the encryption status of the website: an HTTPS website is more secure than a plain HTTP site which is often vulnerable to data theft.

Another step is to check out the company that owns the app. A Google search would have shown that Agile ID Technologies doesn’t exist.

“The results from this campaign show that people are so accustomed to communicating and transacting online that they often become vulnerable to new and sophisticated fraud schemes,” added Cohen. “It’s not just individuals that are susceptible; even businesses are increasingly at risk of being exposed to fraud. In fact, according to the 2018 ACFE Report to the Nations, companies lose an estimated five percent of their revenue annually, on account of fraud.”

Trulioo said it was inspired by the SEC’s bogus coin offering.

About Tom Groenfeldt

I write - mostly about finance and technology, sometimes about art, occasionally about politics and the intersection of politics and economics. My work appears on Forbes.com and International Finance Magazine. The Financial Brand ranked me 20 on a list of the top 25 global influencers in financial services and Jay Palter included me in his list of 250 fintech influencers to follow in 2016 http://bit.ly/1SSRXC6
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