Fraud & Risk

ATO: How Fraudsters Leverage Established Accounts to Commit Fraud

Alexander Hall -- Dispute Defense Consulting and Susan Tyburski -- Pipl


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ATO's (or account takeovers) are not a new method, however these methods have been seen more and more in the last couple years.

What is it?

  • An "account takeover" is the term applied to the fraud method wherein a unauthorized user gains access to an established account. This is done in many different ways, and with many different intentions in mind.

Why is this valuable to a fraudster?

  • Different industries offer perks to account holders in different ways. The value of these offerings is what fraudsters are after.
  • Once an ATO exploit has proven successful, the method becomes a standard operation for identity criminals until it no longer works.

Who does it Affect?

  • Depending on the type of account, the affected entity will change:
    • Banks account will be drained over time, but the true account holder can report that losses and recover funds.
      • Conversely, crypto accounts are not as forgiving.
    • Merchant account profiles that are used to process stolen payment information will affect the merchant by way of chargebacks.

Now, the Prevention Strategy

  • Data is your friend when seeking to identify ATOs early on.
  • Expansive datasets include PII, Biometrics, Behavioral Analytics, Device Fingerprinting and more.

Learning Objectives:

  • After attending this webinar, attendees will learn why ATO is valuable to fraudsters, how ATO works, who ATO affects, and how to prevent ATO with online identity.