Assessments: When Can You Spot a Synthetic?

Test Your Knowledge: Spot the Synthetic Identities at Different Stages of an Account Relationship

Synthetic identity fraud can pose serious consequences for an organization – ranging from monetary losses to reputational risk.

One of the best mitigation strategies is to identify a synthetic identity before the account is opened. However, fraudsters often use sophisticated tactics and it isn’t always possible to identify a synthetic identity at the account opening. Therefore, it’s important to be able to recognize a potential synthetic at all stages of an account relationship, including within a portfolio and during post-loss analyses.

The interactive assessments below will allow you to review scenarios with hypothetical applicant information presented at different stages of the account relationship, to then test your ability in identifying whether a synthetic identity may be involved.

Stage: At the Account Opening

Financial institutions can choose to employ strong customer onboarding requirements and effective data strategies to identify synthetics at the account opening. Can you spot the synthetic identities at an account’s opening?

Stage: Within a Portfolio

Financial institutions may be able to reduce fraud losses if they periodically review their portfolios to identify synthetic identities that went undetected during account onboarding. Can you spot the synthetic identities within a portfolio?

Stage: During Post-Loss Analysis

Organizations can review delinquent accounts to see if the losses may be due to fraud. In cases of synthetic identity fraud, valuable time and resources may be spent pursuing a customer that does not actually exist. Can you spot the synthetic identities during post-loss analysis?

The synthetic identity fraud mitigation toolkit was developed by the Federal Reserve to help educate the industry about synthetic identity fraud and outline potential ways to help detect and mitigate this fraud type. Insights for this toolkit were provided through interviews with industry experts, publicly available research, and team member expertise. This toolkit is not intended to result in any regulatory or reporting requirements, imply any liabilities for fraud loss, or confer any legal status, legal definitions, or legal rights or responsibilities. While use of this toolkit throughout the industry is encouraged, utilization of the toolkit is voluntary at the discretion of each individual entity. Absent written consent, this toolkit may not be used in a manner that suggests the Federal Reserve endorses a third-party product or service.