Episode 2: Blacklisted

Our new series of thrillers – produced and directed by CustomerXPs and Banking Technology – narrate the tales of the fight between the forces of good (the Clari5 analytics and anti-fraud software) and the forces of evil. Based on real events and guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat! 

“All passengers travelling to Seattle by Southwest Airlines, WN44, are hereby informed that the flight is running 25 minutes late due to a delayed take-off at Newark. We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Clari5 – fighting the forces of evil.

Tamara’s face was a picture of concentration as she looked intently at her notebook. She was working furiously on her new client pitch, having logged into the airport Wi-Fi. $25,000 rested on her slim shoulders.

She saw the FB notification from the corner of her eye. She pursed her lips and blew out her cheeks in frustration. Dammit! She was going to be late to Seanna’s birthday party tonight! Best to send her a bouquet in advance, just in case.

He watched Tamara’s reactions. He analysed her like a well-trained covert operative: “Attractive, travelling alone, and working hard on something. Uh oh, she ain’t happy with the delay bro!” So will she be giving him his “fix” for the day? Wait dude, something’s bound to… here we go! We’re in business!”

Tamara was browsing a florist shop website. She scrolled through some pretty bouquets and finally settled for a nice $30 one. “Seanna loves lilies. A nice bouquet with pink and white lilies should be good. Okay, almost done. Cool, will reach her by 7.00 pm and that should cover me even if I’m late aaaaand she’ll be delighted. Should I sign as a ‘secret admirer’? Ooooh, wouldn’t that throw her in a tizzy. Done!” 

Another announcement. Time to board. Notebook shut, slipped into carry bag, mobile phone in hand, bag on shoulder, all sorted. Tamara got up from her airport lounge seat in one swift movement, and strode purposefully towards boarding gate No 4. $25,000 was up for grabs.

He had been tracking her movement online. Public Wi-Fi made it so easy. She hadn’t logged out. Most don’t, thankfully, which makes life easy for him and his troupe. Okie dokie, am in. Now let’s reset.

Clari5, the lone crusader was at work. It was doing its usual sweep of account information when it paused. Ping. Ping. Ping. Pause.

Tamara Stein.

Logged in from notebook at 10.23 am at SJC International airport.

Another log in at 10.33 am from SJC from an unknown device. (?)

Request change in Challenge Question (?)

Something amiss?

At precisely the same time when Clari5 pinged, a phone in another part of the bank rang. Josephine had a wonderful baby shower last night. Her first baby and she was so excited! She felt chirpy and happy and she was all systems go.

“Could you give me your DOB please? Thanks.

“Could you give me the details of your last transaction please?

“Could you confirm your mailing address please?

“Thank you for providing me with all the necessary details. Your request for change in mobile number is in process. It would take about 30 minutes to get it activated. Thank you, yes, sure, will do. Have a nice day.”

Josephine entered the change request in the system. Josephine hit “Enter” and the request for a change in mobile number was recorded in Clari5.

Tamara’s big mistake of not logging out from the airport Wi-Fi helped him access her credit card details. This slip would be his next “fix”. He grins evilly.

10.45am. He checks his phone. SMS text: “Thank you for your request. Your new mobile number will be updated in our records in 30 minutes. If you haven’t made the request, please call us immediately on 100-123-8897.”

30 minutes later he logs in. Beneficiary changed. Transfer of $25,000 initiated. Yes!!

Clari5 blinks. The cursor at Tamara Stein’s name seems to be digging in its heels. Is it?

Could be a possible “account takeover”.

It was time to monitor Tamara Stein’s account more closely. Time to move it to the closely monitored account (CMA) status.

Clari5 made this decision in real time. After all, more than 80% of the available account balance was to be transferred – more than the average transfer that Tamara Stein had ever requested going by past records.

It’s blocked. Clari5 has blocked the request. Funds transfer has been suspended. Text message to Tamara reads: “We have received a request for $25,000 funds transfer from your account. As a customary verification process, please present yourself in the bank with your ID proof.” 

Beep. He looks at the message on his mobile. What in the name of… ? Damn! How? He’s furious.

“Hi, this is Tamara. I just got a message about a transfer of $25,000 from my account. I didn’t make any such request… Oh? Is that so? Sorry, I didn’t see the message as I was on a flight. OK, sure. Oh great. I’ll be there tomorrow morning with my ID. Thanks.”

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you… ” the sounds of laughter and glasses clinking can be heard. Tamara is on top of the world. She nailed the presentation and had won the pitch. And Seanna loved the bouquet.

At the bank, the pings go off once again. Clari5 is on high alert again.

Mobile phone number 147-8976-234 is blacklisted!

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