Account Takeover Fraud: What You Need to Know


In the 21st century, fraud is a business transferred from offline to online. In recent years, internet users have increased significantly, and cybercrime too.

Most people use web services to communicate with friends or commence daily transactions such as paying bills and shopping online. Several months ago, social media platforms were concerned about security threats affecting their network due to spam registrations by bots and fake accounts to spread misinformation.

And, now the situation shifted because attackers began using compromised accounts for fraudulent activities through account takeover frauds.

What is Account Takeover Fraud?

Account takeover fraud is a type of online fraud that occurs when a criminal gains access to a victim's account and uses it to purchase items or steal money. This can be done by stealing the login credentials or infecting the victim's computer with malware that captures keystrokes.

Victims of account takeover fraud typically lose money, have their personal information stolen, or both. To protect themselves from this type of fraud, consumers should use strong passwords, install antivirus software, and be careful about where they enter their login information.

They should also monitor their accounts regularly for unauthorised activity. They should also notify their banks if they see any suspicious activity.

Different Methods Executed for Account Takeover Fraud

Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing is a method criminals use to gain access to online accounts by using automated programs that try millions of different username and password combinations on a website until the program successfully logs into a user's account.

These attacks can be very successful because many people use the same password for their online accounts, making it easy for criminals to hack multiple accounts with just one password.

Banks typically employ several layers of security, such as requiring customers to answer secret questions to prevent credential stuffing from occurring. However, these threats are still complex for banks to stop completely.


Malware aims to damage or disable computers and computer systems. To infect a user's computer, criminals can send links in phishing emails designed to look like they come from the victim's bank or other reputable organisation but actually go to a website controlled by hackers instead.

If the user clicks on the link within the email and visits this site, their computer will become infected with malware that captures keystrokes on their keyboard and sends them back to the hacker's server.

When a victim logs into their online bank account while using an infected device, criminals can see all of their login details and use them later to access their account without answering any security questions.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-middle attacks, also known as a man in the browser attack, occur when criminals place themselves between an online device and a website to intercept data being sent from each side.

The criminal intercepts the victim's intended communication with the bank and can modify it to change their login credentials or inject new ones so that they can gain access to the account without needing to know the victim's password.

They can also insert code into their own browsers to capture keystrokes by their computer instead of passing directly from the user to the website.

Mobile Banking Trojans

Mobile banking trojans attempt to gain access to a victim's smartphone or tablet and steal login credentials. The criminal sends the user a link that appears to go to their bank's website but actually goes to a fake version controlled by hackers instead.

When the user clicks on this link and logs in, criminals can steal their login information and use it later without needing any special software.

SIM Card Swapping

SIM card swapping is when criminals impersonate victims and trick mobile phone providers into transferring their phone numbers over to new SIM cards controlled by cybercriminals instead of the victim themselves.

This gives criminals access to all incoming text messages from banks that include security questions and other sensitive data that they can then use to log into accounts without having physical access to the phone itself.


Phishing is when criminals send an email or other forms of communication to individuals in an attempt to trick them into revealing their personal information, such as login credentials for online accounts, by making it appear as if the message came from a bank or another reputable institution.

Cybercriminals often use official-sounding language and logos in these scams to fool victims into thinking they are dealing with legitimate businesses when really they are just giving up sensitive information that can be used to access their accounts.

Some phishing attacks even include links that go to spoofed versions of real websites controlled by cybercriminals instead of the organisations themselves. Banks usually have filters designed to detect and block these types of fraudulent emails, but some might get through before they are identified as dangerous.

Account Takeover Fraud Detection

A few telltale signs can indicate that a fraudster has taken over your account. For example, if you notice any sudden changes to your account settings or profile information or receive many spam messages from people you don't know, then it's likely that your account has been compromised.

Another common sign of account takeover fraud is if you start seeing charges on your credit card statement that you don't recognize. This could result from someone using your account to make fraudulent purchases online. So it's essential to keep an eye on your credit card statements and report any suspicious charges immediately.

If you think that someone may have gained access to your account without permission, then it's best to contact your bank or credit card company as soon as possible so that they can help you get things sorted out.

Generally, this type of fraud is detected quickly by an online banking system, but it might take a while for the victim to notice anything suspicious. Being proactive is always better than waiting for someone else to tell you about something amiss on your account.

Measures Banks Should Take to Help Prevent Account Takeover Fraud

The first step banks can take to help prevent account takeover fraud is to have some form of two-factor authentication in place on all accounts. Two-factor authentication ensures that each login attempt is coming from an authorised device and not just using the same username and password every time, as many people do.

This is a reliable way to protect accounts from cybercriminals who might have stolen login credentials from another account.

In addition, banks can continually enhance their security with updated anti-fraud solutions that use machine learning and other more sophisticated techniques to help detect and prevent malicious activity on the network before it has a chance to do any damage.

Fraud Prevention System Strategic Importance

Having some online fraud prevention system in place is extremely important for any company dealing with sensitive user data such as credit card information or login credentials.

Not only does such a system reduce the risk of losing money due to fraudulent charges or hacked accounts, but it also helps protect customer trust by making sure they feel secure using your business's services online.


Many people have a false sense of what a phishing email looks like and how they're being targeted, so it's essential to take precautions to protect your online accounts from cybercriminals who might be trying to use your information for malicious purposes.

In the case of account takeover fraud, having some form of two-factor authentication is a great way to secure your data against fraudulent activity.

In addition, using security solutions that employ machine learning techniques can also help detect and prevent unauthorised access attempts before any damage has been done. With these simple steps, you'll be able to enjoy much better protection for all your sensitive information online!

April 22, 2022
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