Fraudsters, Deep Fakes, and Face Masks

Criminals are getting smarter and more sophisticated. Thankfully, so are our tools and identity verification solutions. Consumer habits have shifted due to Covid-19 and naturally criminals’ efforts to capitalize on the new paradigm have as well.

Think back to the first few months of 2020. At that point in time, you may have never worn a mask, thought about what a toilet paper shortage would look like, or noticed how many parts of your home needed renovations. Now, a year and a half into the pandemic experience, you may be longing for a concert, restaurant experience, or travel longer than a car can realistically and comfortably take you. But have you actually reflected on how many aspects of our lives have changed during this period, what it meant, and what it may mean for the future?

Covid-related Consumer Changes

When it comes to consumer behavior, we witnessed what seems to be covid-related consumer changes turned into permanent shifts. The commercial landscape, from commerce to entertainment, took on new shapes, developed covid-proof products and services, and even found different revenue streams. The same is true for the banking industry, as the use of digital wallets and mobile banking skyrocketed, while the use of cash in-store declined.

Financial crime related to covid-related consumer changes

Criminals Looking to Capitalize on Changes

But these drastic shifts and the unprecedented growth in certain sectors didn’t go unnoticed by criminals planning to capitalize on it. With the lockdowns and changing consumer habits, In the US there’s been noticeable uptick in identity fraud attempts in 2020 compared to the previous year and, according to the Global True Cost of Compliance 2020 report (Lexis Nexis), the annual cost of financial crime compliance in Europe was $102,5 billion in 2020 (up from $87 billion in 2019).

Moreover, according to UK Finance, the banking industry stopped $2.2 billion of attempted fraud losses in 2020 in the United Kingdom alone. While that is a number that accounts for all fraud and not just identity fraud, it still paints a fairly clear picture – it is rapidly becoming challenging for financial institutions to keep up with the regulatory and compliance burden, and there is seemingly no end in sight. In fact, the recent uptick in fraudulent activities points to the opposite being true. As a result, banks are taking action, further investing in their ability to fight financial crimes and fraudsters with more manpower and better technology. Along the same lines, financial institutions are also expanding their investigative capacity, in an effort to solve fraudulent activities that have already taken place.

Deep Fakes and Fraudsters

Fraudsters are also becoming more sophisticated when it comes to how they go about committing their financial crimes, with the emergence of new technologies like deep fakes and silicone masks being a good example. While some of these masks work better than others, spotting and identifying the fraudster can be difficult. Advanced biometric checks, like those offered by ZignSec, can help. With that said, the constant improvement of detection techniques is desperately needed, and we aim to continue to be a part of the solution to both current and future fraudulent crimes.

Deep fakes and masks becoming more common for financial crime

Detecting Forged IDs

In addition to focusing on emerging technologies, criminals are also becoming better at forging official government-issued IDs. This includes the digital identity of an individual as well. Cases where false identification documents correspond exactly with information on the victim’s social media accounts, including the full name, date of birth, place of birth, and connections with fake family and friends, are becoming increasingly common. Fraudsters are now going the extra mile to make the identity thefts more believable, and they are spending more time on building credible backstories and a network of realistic and credible contacts for the stolen identity.

Thankfully, online ID verification solutions like those offered by ZignSec can help with this. With our tools, customers can scan over 8,000 types of IDs and documents in real-time and take comfort in a best-in-class user experience and a 100% automated process.

Identity Verification Now Considered a Board-level Issue

With criminals changing their approach on a near daily basis, and with their attempts becoming progressively more complex, businesses and individuals need to take a more holistic approach to data and identity verification. Protecting identities is of utmost importance to individuals, and it has perhaps become even more important to businesses as consumers trust them with their sensitive information. Obvious financial losses aside, banks also face potentially massive reputational, political, and legal consequences if their customers are subject to fraudulent crimes as a result of using their services or products. It’s no wonder that what was once seen as merely an operational cost for banks is now considered a board-level issue

Fight Fraudsters and Deep Fakes with Us

Contact us today at [email protected] to learn more about how we can protect your business and customers, all while keeping you up to date on fraudulent developments and emerging criminal trends.

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    Cookie Policy

    Effective date: January 1, 2020

    This notice explains ZignSec’s approach to cookies and other online data collection technologies.

    When you visit our websites, use our mobile apps, engage with our online ads or emails, we collect information, using technologies such as cookies, pixel tags (also called web beacons), browser analysis tools and server logs. Each of these technologies is explained below.

    1. How We Use Cookies

    We use cookies and other online data collection tools for several many different purposes.

    Strictly necessary cookies and tags are used by ZignSec to support the basic operations of our websites and apps. They enable core website functions, such as authentication, security, network management and accessibility. You may be able to disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

    Performance and operation cookies and tags are used by us and our service providers to manage our websites. These activities may include collecting analytics about visitors to our website and collecting information about website usage. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the website. These cookies help us gather data to optimize our website’s performance.

    Site experience cookies and tags are used to support your experience and include user-selected options and site navigation aids.

    Marketing and personalization cookies are used to enable social sharing and to deliver interest-based ads to you online.

    Social media cookies and tags used by us and social media platforms to enable users of the platforms to share content across our sites. We also work with social media platforms to deliver ads to you when you use these platforms. This targeting is done by the platform under its own terms of use.

    Advertising cookies and tags used by us, our service providers and third parties to personalize the ads delivered to you on our site and on other sites. These cookies collect data about your online activity and allow ads to be displayed that may be of relevant interest to you. These cookies also record which ads you have seen and whether you engaged with the ad. These cookies help make sure that the ads you see are valuable to you and not repetitive.

    While we do not give any personally identifiable information to the third-party advertising companies, we may place third-parties’ cookies and tags when you visit a ZignSec website. This practice allows these third parties to collect information from you using these technologies on our websites. The information they collect is subject to their own privacy policies.

    Uses of cookies can vary by country or state. More information is provided in the supplemental privacy notices posted in the Privacy Center or in the relevant website or app.

    2. Your Choices

    For websites in the United States and Europe, ZignSec provides you with the ability to manage cookies that are not essential to display our website using “Manage Your Cookies” Many ZignSec websites only place marketing, personalization, and advertising cookies if you explicitly accept these cookies by clicking “Accept All Cookies” when you first visit the website. If you have accepted cookies, you adjust your preferences by using this link.

    You can manage cookies and delete cookies from ZignSec and other companies using your browser settings. Browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari give you the ability to accept, reject or delete cookies. Visit the “help center” for your browser to learn more. Please note that your browser settings are not used to manage Flash or Silverlight cookies. To manage Adobe Flash Cookies, visit the Flash Player help page. To manage Microsoft Silverlight Cookies, visit the Silverlight section of Microsoft’s privacy statement.

    You can also take advantage of industry-sponsored programs that allow you to control the way companies advertise to you.

    The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) manages an opt-out program for many third-party advertising companies. You can opt out of being targeted by NAI members by visiting

    On some websites, you may see an AdChoices icon, which may appear on certain targeted ads. You may click on this AdChoices icon to learn more information about the collection and use of your information or to opt-out of such collection in the future. To learn more about the Digital Advertising Alliance Consumer Choice tool, please visit

    Additional information on cookies and online advertising choices are offered by:

    Adobe Marketing Cloud: If you would like more information on how to remove yourself from the tracking and reporting functions performed for this website by Adobe Marketing Cloud, please visit the Opt-Out page at

    Google: For information on how Google Analytics uses data please visit “How Google uses data when you use our partners’ sites or apps,” located at

    In most cases, the choices you make are linked to your browser. If you use different browsers or different devices, you will need to set your preferences on each one. Even if you opt-out, you may still receive ads that are not customized for you, unrelated to your browser settings.

    Although our websites currently do not have a mechanism to recognize the various web browser Do Not Track signals, we do offer our customers choices to manage their cookie preferences as described in the previous section. To learn more about browser tracking signals and Do Not Track please visit

    Residents of some countries and states have additional privacy rights. Information on these rights is provided in the supplemental privacy notices posted in the Privacy Center.

    3. Social Media and other Platforms

    Our websites may enable you to interact with us and others via social media platforms. This functionality is enabled using social media cookies and tags. For example, some ZignSec websites allow you to sign in using social media platform credentials. Please read the privacy statements provided by your social media platforms to understand how they use your information and to manage your choices.

    We may display interest-based ads to you when you are using social media platforms. These platforms allow us to personalize the ads that we display to you. To enable delivery of these ads, we convert your email address into a unique number. The platforms also convert their user emails into unique numbers using the same process. This allows the records to be matched without any exchange of data elements that can identify you on their own. The platforms perform the matching as a service provider to ZignSec, and they do not retain or use the file that we send them for their own purposes. This process allows the platform to deliver our ads to our customers on the platform. The platforms may gain insights about individuals who respond to the ads we serve.

    4. Other Types of Online Data Collection

    Our server logs record information about users to our websites. We may use these logs for internal purposes, such as website administration, optimization and security. We may also use the data for fraud-protection, personalization and advertising.

    We collect device identifiers and other device-related information, including your device’s advertising ID if available. This information is used to identify the device and authenticate you. We may also use device-related information to associate you with different devices that you may use, including for fraud-protection purposes and to better target advertising. In many cases, you can reset your device’s advertising ID. Both Android and iOS devices enable you to reset your device identifier under the “settings” menu.

    5. A Guide to Cookies and Other Technologies


    Cookies are small text files that websites send to your computer or other internet-connected device to uniquely identify your browser or to store information or settings in your browser. Cookies allow us to recognize you when you return. They also help us provide a customized experience and can enable us to detect certain kinds of fraud.

    First-party cookies are those cookies that are placed by ZignSec. These cookies are used by ZignSec and include all the essential cookies.

    Third-party cookies are placed by another company, including service providers, social media cookies and third-party advertising companies. Cookies placed by third parties can be read by these third parties when you visit other sites in the advertising network, allowing a profile of your online behavior to be created so that the third party can deliver targeted ads from all its customers.

    Flash Cookies and Silverlight Cookies

    A Flash Cookie (also known as a Local Stored Object) is a small data file placed on a computer using Adobe Flash technology. A Silverlight Cookie is a small data file placed on a computer using Microsoft’s Silverlight technology. Flash and Silverlight are applications that allow delivery of dynamic content, such as video clips and animation. These cookies are used to personalize and enhance your online experience, deliver dynamic content, and for security purposes. They differ from “regular cookies” in that they are not managed using your browser settings. See Your Choices above for how to manage these types of cookies.

    Pixel Tags and Web Beacons

    Pixel tags (also called web beacons) are tiny graphic images and small blocks of code placed on website pages, ads, or in emails that allow us to determine whether you have performed a specific action. When you access the pages or you open an email, the tag lets us know you have accessed the web page or opened the email. These tools allow us to measure response to our communications and improve our web pages and promotions.

    Server Logs

    Server logs record activities on our websites. Other types of logs collect similar information from our apps. These logs record information about the device you use to access our website, your operating system type, browser type, domain and other system settings, as well as the language your system uses and the country and time zone where your device is located. Our logs also record the IP address of the device you use to connect to the Internet. An IP address is a unique identifier that devices require to identify and communicate with each other on the Internet. We may also collect information about the website you were visiting before you came to ZignSec and the website you visit after you leave our site.