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Over 65 million voice samples guard your bank data from scammers

Timothy J. Seppala, @timseppala
October 14, 2014
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Two-factor authentication might be all the rage these days, but it sounds like there could be an even more secure way of protecting against fraud -- your voice. It's being employed by major banks including Wells-Fargo and JPMorgan Chase to weed out scammers who call financial institutions armed with the info gleaned from cyber attacks, according to the Associated Press. The system combines recorded voice samples with blacklists of repeat calls from would-be criminals, and has reduced fraud attempts by as much as 90 percent so far. And if you're wondering where the banks have gotten these 65 million-plus voice samples, well, we've all likely heard the familiar notice that a call may be monitored or recorded before being connected to an operator. So, that explains that.

This isn't without its share of critics, naturally. The American Civil Liberties Union notes that while using biometrics to combat fraud is a fine starting point, where it goes from there could be where "trouble can start." Let's hope the servers storing these voice samples are a bit more secure than those holding our financial data.

[Image credit: Martin Cathrae / Flickr]

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