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Zelle: The Role Of AI In Stopping COVID-Related P2P Payment Scams

COVID-era fraudsters use scams that range from impersonating tax officials to selling fake PPE on P2P payment apps. Fighting these threats requires an equally wide range of defenses, says Jamie Armistead, Zelle vice president. In this month’s Preventing Financial Crime Playbook, Armistead explains how artificial intelligence (AI) can offer a bird's eye view of suspicious transactions and stop fraudsters from exploiting legitimate customer vulnerabilities.


Financial crime is a constant worry for banks, credit unions, FinTechs and other financial institutions (FIs) and businesses, with total fraud losses totaling $1.45 trillion a year.

financial fraud attack against FIs or businesses occurred every two minutes on average in 2019, resulting in 59,627 attacks in total.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps like CashAppPayPalVenmo and Zelle are especially popular targets for financial crime, with fraud attacks against these apps increasing by 733 percent since 2016. Fraudsters deploy a variety of different methods when attacking these apps, ranging from sophisticated methods like account takeovers (ATOs) to impersonation schemes that trick users into sending them money directly.


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