The old man's eyes were so cloudy that his pupils were hardly visible. His gaunt face and withering pale skin reminded me of the "Screaming Man," his bones and muscles seemingly frozen still from the time he struggled to draw his last breath. I'm no forensic pathologist, but the man appeared to have been deceased for two weeks by the time the withdrawal request to drain his entire BTC wallet was submitted. Of course, he had “assistance” from the convenience of his casket.
Throughout my career in the crypto-fraud-fighting space, spooky cases such as these have been common escalations. While the underlying motives and details always vary, they all have one thing in common… a selfie.
When banking and finance transitioned from brick-and-mortar to online, we applied the same mechanisms of trust and safety that felt comfortable. For example, I walk into my local bank and what do I need? Typically just my person and a government-issued ID. Whether you're an extravert or an introvert, there's no escaping that we're all innately social beings who require face-to-face interaction to give and gain trust.
However, the problem arises when we apply that same method of trust to our digital environments. Albeit core to our nature, selfie- and document-scanning solutions create intrusive and friction-full user experiences while also generating costly manual review queues and allowing determined bad actors to slip through the cracks. Though these solutions are necessary to every crypto or fintech, they should be implemented judiciously within a step-up authentication approach and not utilized as your first and only line of defense. In the spirit of Halloween, allow me to explain using real-life examples from my days fighting fraud on the crypto frontlines and advising others in this ever-evolving space.
Had Prove’s identity authentication and verification solutions been in place, it’s likely that the bad actors in the above examples would have been stopped in their tracks. This is because Prove's approach to onboarding and servicing satisfies a “PRO” model of identity verification and authentication that traditional doc-scanning solutions alone do not:
So, this Halloween, consider saving your customers from being “tricked” and instead “treat” them to better and safer experiences by leveraging Prove’s identity solutions.
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