Online Fraud Forum 2016: Tremendous interest, important exchange

Online Fraud Forum 2016: Tremendous interest, important exchange

How do fraudsters change their strategies? What new fraud clusters exist and what are the most promising tools in the fight against online fraud? These questions and more were answered in Hamburg as risk and fraud managers from different companies congregated for the Online Fraud Forum 2016.

An annual event, this year’s event was even more popular than 2015, as attendees from over 70 companies accepted the invitation to the Empire Riverside Hotel. Online merchants from different industries, as well as businesses from the financial sector and service providers, were among those eager to share and learn how to better defend their domains.

The day started with a speech by Úna Dillon, Managing Director MRC Europe. She presented the work of the association that supports its member firms in fraud prevention and payments. Each year, the MRC, which recently invited Risk Ident Roberto Valerio to its European Advisory Board, organises four significant events throughout the year to expand their network and share best practice knowledge throughout the industry. In the second part of her presentation, Ms Dillon presented the results of the MRC Global Payment Survey 2015.

Data privacy is an important topic for companies, especially those who want to establish an excellent fraud prevention setup and need greater knowledge on the topic. Unfortunately, the legal issues and regulations are not always straightforward and can be difficult to fully understand in this subject area. Fortunately, Dr. Kai-Uwe Plath was able to bring some light into the darkness with his presentation, pointing out to online retailers under which conditions they have the chance to offer different payment options to the customer, based on the individual risk score of the order.

The third presentation came from Dr. Mario Elstner. Thanks to his job as a Data Scientist here at Risk Ident, he is an expert when it comes to knowing what is true or just a myth behind the term “machine learning”. His conclusion: in contrast to what most companies like to say, “machine learning” is not able to completely replace a human employee. In fact, the complete opposite is true: to get the most efficient results, human experience is of highest importance. This is especially true when it comes to evaluation and processing from data. The idea of entrusting this entire process to algorithms is a dangerous idea. With the right implementation, machine learning is indeed able to scan a big number of transactions for fraudulent activities, but must go hand-in-hand with empowered fraud managers and domain experts.

After a short lunch break, Carsten Schmidt from the State Criminal Police Office (or Landeskriminalamt in German) presented a brief insight into his work within the merchandise and credit fraud sector. In 2015, his department of the LKA 551 alone worked on over 4,000 fraud cases! His goal for the day was simple: to improve the working relationship between the government and affected merchants, to get better results when fighting fraud.

The rest of the afternoon, the attendees had the chance to attend two of our 10 roundtables to discuss specific topics in small groups. Afterwards, they had the chance to network with new or already existing connections and finish off a great day with a nice dinner.

For those of us interested in fighting fraud, this was a truly inspirational day and one we are already excited about for next year!

In the course of this year’s OFF 2016, we once again asked all attending retailers to fill out a short survey. You will be able to read about this year’s results in an upcoming blog right here on our website – stay tuned!