Consumers worry about fraud risk from support desk calls

Phone worry

Almost a third of US consumers (31 percent) think they are at risk of fraud when contacting a brand's customer service department, with 47 percent saying it's because they have to share personal information with a customer service agent.

In another report released for International Fraud Awareness Week, the Sitel Group and CallMiner have looked at consumers' experience and concerns around customer service fraud, voice assistants and information security.

The report finds that 86 percent of Americans think brands could do more to protect customer information and prevent customer service fraud, and 28 percent don't trust that the brands and companies with which they do business are handling their personal information securely. Although 67 percent feel most comfortable contacting a brand or company they’re doing business with over the phone, the majority (87 percent) are still worried that sharing their personal information with a brand in this way could make them vulnerable to fraud.

"The Preventing Fraud and Preserving CX with AI Report revealed critical consumer concerns around fraud that brands and customer experience agents must address to stay competitive in the market," says Cris Kuehl, VP, analytics and client insights at Sitel Group. "With a third of consumers feeling at risk for fraud when they call a brand, it’s important that brands utilize the appropriate technology and data insights to train customer service agents. When an agent can better explain why they need personal information from a customer it mitigates security fears and creates a better experience."

The findings also show that 52 percent think the banking and financial services industry is the most susceptible to customer service fraud. However, 65 percent also believe this industry is the most proactive in using technology to detect unusual activity on their accounts to prevent fraud.

Perhaps not surprisingly the suspicion also extends to voice assistants. Only 18 percent of Americans have used a smart assistant like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to conduct a voice search and call a customer support phone number for a company, with Generation Zs most likely to do so.

The majority (65 percent) of Americans say they would not be comfortable making a purchase via a smart assistant either. 43 percent say this would be because they're worried someone could hack into their device and steal their information, and 29 percent worry their information won't be stored safely by the channel.

"With the advancements in AI and speech technology that we’ve encountered in the past few years, fraud monitoring has vastly improved," says Jeff Gallino, CTO and co-founder at CallMiner. "While Americans understand the importance of fraud monitoring, it’s now time for brands to go a step further and better communicate to customers how fraud monitoring is implemented into the system to protect them."

The full report is available from the Sitel website.

Image credit: CITAlliance/

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