Famous American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, In today’s world, we have vast freedom to acquire wealth and its associated benefits. However, with freedom comes responsibility. For instance, the enormous enterprise of creating and activating new accounts allows unprecedented access to credit but can leave businesses vulnerable to fraud.

Customers can create new accounts online around the clock with zero face-to-face interaction. S o, businesses such as financial institutions, credit card issuers, brokerages and retail merchants must understand the risks in order to protect not only their customers, but their assets as well.

What Is Account Opening Fraud?


Account opening fraud occurs when a new account is created by a criminal or criminal enterprise using the name and personal information of someone other than the account opener. Fraudsters frequently target new mortgage, credit card, online payment and loyalty accounts with the intent of stealing money and resources from a company or institution.


This type of fraud originates in a few different ways:

  1. Fraudsters either steal or illegally obtain a real person’s personally identifiable information (PII), a practice consumers know and understand as identity theft.
  2.  Scammers manufacture a synthetic ID combining real and fake data to create an artificial account opener.
  3. Criminals use various tactics such as hacking, phishing or social engineering to cobble together enough PII to convincingly pose as a real customer to open an account.


The speed at which criminals can create new fraudulent accounts is made exponential through the use of bots or actual   resources. These human-run operations are even more problematic because they often rely on exploited workers.

Once new accounts are opened, criminals can access funds, assets and credit to spend and accumulate debt that will never be repaid.

New account fraud represented more than $3.4 billion in total losses in 2018.

Business person on phone sending email and work message working.

Terms to Know

Synthetic ID

Social Engineering





Identifying and Preventing Account Opening Fraud

New account opening fraud requires a layered risk management strategy to address consumer demand for low-friction digital experiences. Businesses are pulled between the dueling tensions of fraud prevention and seamless customer experiences that don’t alienate bona fide new customers.

A frequent challenge in identifying account opening fraud is a lack of data for the company to compare. One thing all online account openings have in common, however,  is an email address. Combining this dynamic data point with shared transaction history from a global network makes account opening fraud easier to identify.

Emailage specialized risk assessment technology has custom models for all regions and industries. By using dynamic data from a customer’s email address, your company can better ascertain exactly who is opening an account and identify potential fraud risks. Emailage products leverage different data points to ensure your customers have the best experience while eliminating costly account opening fraud.

The Email Risk Score combines the power of the dynamic data linked to customer email and ever-adapting machine learning to give your business complete transparency into and confidence in who is behind a transaction. This technology increases authorization speed while decreasing customer friction and mitigating fraud risk.

The Digital Identity Score builds upon the dynamic data of email addresses to further increase approval speeds and lower risk. Your risk management team can leverage the processing power of the score’s analytics and focus their efforts on only the riskiest of transactions rather than having to deeply examine each one.

Portal 3 provides at-a-glance insights into all of your risk management strategies. Your company’s risk management team can stop account opening fraud in its tracks by running the previous seven days of queries from every channel.

The better your deployment of technology that seamlessly predicts customer and communication patterns, the more account opening fraud you can mitigate. Portal 3 makes this process the most simple and accurate, saving your team time and money.

The Emailage suite of risk management tools is scalable for any industry and provides best-in-class customer-centric global support to help you stay ahead of account opening fraud risks.

Resources for Account Opening Fraud Deterrence

Emailage is a leader in fraud management services, with solutions tailored to a wide range of industries. Our Knowledge Hub is home to a wealth of content, case studies and research that supports the proficiency of our fraud management tools and services.

Additionally, as part of the LexisNexis Risk Solutions family, Emailage is connected to a comprehensive set of fraud and identity resources. These  resources can help your company’s risk managers hone their strategies to identify and prevent account opening fraud . Your company needs to look no further for the most cutting-edge suite of technology and risk management solutions.

For merchants that scale their businesses with new customer acquisition and retention promotions, preventing account opening fraud is paramount. Emailage technology and global contributory network reporting saves time and effort while providing a frictionless checkout or registration experience for your customers. Across industry and segment, Emailage network intelligence gives risk managers a leg up to outsmart account opening fraud.

Freedom and Benefit

New business drives growth and profitability. Don’t risk the scalability of your business to bad actors creating fake accounts that will never generate profit. Armed with an understanding of how account opening fraud works and equipped with global fraud management tools, your business can protect both your assets and customers.

Learn how the power of Emailage network intelligence can help your company outsmart account opening fraud.

Visit to get started.