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How to Protect Consumers from Account Takeover Fraud


Account takeover (ATO) fraud, through which a bad actor takes over an individual’s financial accounts without their knowledge, is one of the most harmful forms of identity theft. It’s often difficult to detect because fraudsters have become skilled in gaining access to a person’s personal identifiable information (PII), such as their home address or Social Security number, and assuming their identity. It can destroy an individual’s finances and credit score and take a long time to recover from the damage.

The three most common activities cybercriminals performed after taking over an account in 2021 were making fraudulent credit card transactions; moving funds out of person-to-person (P2P) services like PayPal, Venmo or Zelle; and changing account contact information so they can confirm transactions when an institution reaches out.


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