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Lloyds Bank security system analyses customer behaviour to detect fraud

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Lloyds Bank has said a new multi-faceted security system for detecting financial scams nicknamed 'The Rat' has already prevented nearly 2,000 customers from being ripped off.

It uses a combination of different metrics to determine whether the customer is using their banking facilities in a normal way or whether criminals are taking control to try and siphon funds.

First, 'The Rat' makes “sophisticated behavioural analysis” of the way in which a customer uses their facilities, including how they move around the screen or the time it takes them to fill out their personal details.

It then uses software to try and detect whether the account is being accessed remotely, a common way that fraudsters use to take control of personal accounts.

Finally, Lloyds said it can detect a “secret sign”; one simple event that fraudsters enact which ultimately gives the game away. Lloyds said it will not make this action public in order to keep the system as effective as possible.

Since going live at the end of 2018, the Rat has already prevented more than 1,900 customers from falling victim to a scam.

“We are working 24/7 behind the scenes every day to help keep our customers’ money safe, by innovating and analysing data in real-time to stop fraud happening in the first place,” said Paul Davis, retail fraud director at Lloyds Bank.

“We’ve used the latest technology – biometrics, big data and artificial intelligence – long before these were even buzzwords, building our fraud-fighting armoury to give us an edge over the crooks.

“One of our latest advances has been using these three detection tactics together. Individually, they are all good at spotting fraudsters, but when combined we can spot more fraud more quickly and disrupt fewer genuine transactions.”

If the Rat spots the tell-tale signs of fraud, Lloyds will freeze the customer’s account, preventing funds from being lost, and will then contact the customer.

Customers do not need to opt in to the service, which is also being used by other banks within the Lloyds group.

In one of the Rat’s successes, an elderly customer received a call from a scammer pretending to be from BT and claiming there was a problem with his internet. The fraudster tried to hack into the customer’s computer and set up external payments via his online banking.

This suspect activity was picked up by the Rat and the account was blocked while the elderly man was still on the phone to the scammer. No funds were lost. Lloyds spoke to the customer and provided him with additional information on scams and how to spot them.

One in 10 people across the UK say they have been the victim of a financial scam at some point in their lives, according to previous Lloyds research across the general population.

Scammers’ tactics have become increasingly sophisticated, with fraudsters often posing as official bodies such as banks and the police to trick people into transferring their cash themselves.

Overall losses due to this type of fraud - known as authorised push payment scams - totalled £354.3m across the UK last year, according to UK Finance.

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