Lloyds Bank builds “The Rat” to sniff out fraudsters before they attack

Lloyds Bank has created a new digital security tool to hunt down fraudsters before they have a chance to attack.

The new defence solution has been nicknamed “The Rat” and aims to identify people who might be targeted and act quickly behind the scenes to stop them losing money.

Fraud is still a massive worry for the global financial ecosystem, with one in ten UK adults stating they have fallen victim to a financial scam at some point if their lives, according to the ONS. Lloyd’s has built the solution to help minimise risk.

It works through three core aspects, biometrics, remote access, and “the secret sign.”

Biometric monitoring is based on when a customer uses internet banking, real-time fraud detection systems are used to decide whether it’s really them or a fraudster. This includes behavioural analysis to build a profile on how a customer users internet banking, which is hard for fraudsters to mimic. Details monitored for behavioural analysis can be aspects such as how someone moves around the screen or time taken to enter personal details.

The Rat combines this biometric data in real-time with software which can identify if remote access is being used to access a customer’s computer. This is a common tactic used by scammers where they will trick a victim to pass over control of their computer.

Finally, the service looks for a “secret sign” which fraudsters do to give themselves away; however, Lloyd’s cannot disclose what this is otherwise criminals would respond.

If The Rat spots signs of fraud, it will freeze the customer’s account to prevent funds being lost and then it will contact the customer. The solution has been live since the end of last year and has prevented over 1,900 customers falling victim to a scam.

Lloyds Bank retail fraud director Paul Davis said,  “We are working 24/7 behind the scenes every day to help keep our customers’ money safe, by innovating and analysing data in real-time to stop fraud happening in the first place.

“We’ve used the latest technology – biometrics, big data and artificial intelligence – long before these were even buzzwords, building our fraud-fighting armoury to give us an edge over the crooks. One of our latest advances has been using these three detection tactics together. Individually, they are all good spotting fraudsters, but when combined, we can spot more fraud more quickly and disrupt fewer genuine transactions.”

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