Recent years, market has developed and people are keeping their money online with the help of e-wallet. E-wallet could link with our credit card and that makes online transaction cheaper and faster. The technology brings us convenient but it also opens door for fraud.
On 13 February 2019, the Singapore Police Force charged 4 individuals with syndicated credit card fraud. These individuals were charged for stealing bank credit or debit card information via external means, and using these stolen cards to top up their YouTrip accounts. Another 15 are currently also under investigation.
These suspects were initially flagged out by YouTrip’s Fraud Monitoring System, which continuously analyses transaction patterns and detects early signals of suspicious activities. We immediately handed over the case to the police to expedite investigations, which include a total of 18 suspects with more than 85 fraudulent credit card top up transactions.
Investigating & tracing transaction patterns using Data Analytics
Throughout late December and January, YouTrip’s Fraud Monitoring System, which traces and detects early signals of suspicious transactions, flagged out two key signals:
- Signal 1: High top up amount followed by immediate purchases or cash withdrawals to deplete the account balance
- Signal 2: High frequency of failed top up with incorrect credit / debit card credentials
By combining these two key signals and using Data Analytics techniques, YouTrip traced these signals to a specific small group of users who exhibited both behaviors. A special task force made up of Fraud Monitoring specialists and engineers was immediately set up to carry out detailed investigations. Through these investigations, they found out more transaction and usage signals that have high correlation to potentially fraudulent activities, including concentration on common merchant names (e.g. overseas ATM locations), common transaction locations, chargebacks, and citizen’s reports received, etc.
They concluded that there is a high chance that a group of 18 users may have fraudulently obtained information or cards of more than 85 fraudulent credit or debit card top up transactions used to top up YouTrip accounts. The accounts were immediately suspended.
Enhancing security measures
While investigations were underway, YouTrip rolled out a security update last week that requires mandatory OTP verification via SMS (to be sent by your credit card issuing bank), whenever a new credit or debit card is added for the first time on the YouTrip app.
This helps to further eliminate cases of fraudulent use such as to perform top-ups on YouTrip accounts using stolen credit or debit cards, in addition to the existing fraud monitoring systems and customer due diligence processes.
“Fraud prevention and security will continue to be YouTrip’s core mission to our users. We will continue to work closely with the authorities and community to ensure a secure and seamless payment experience for all YouTrip users,” said Mr Kelvin Lam, Country Manager (Singapore), You Technologies Group.
The case is currently under litigation and YouTrip is working closely with the authorities in the ongoing investigations. YouTrip will be working with the relevant institutions to ensure a proper arrangement for affected individuals in this case.
YouTrip users can rest assured to use YouTrip as per normal, as the suspicious activities have been contained to the current identified suspects. Users can reach out to YouTrip’s customer support team at email@example.com, if they detect any suspicious activities in their accounts.