Why image search catfish is the new favorite term looked for on Google

Catfish identity theft stopped by biometric authentication


Image search catfish issues solved by BioID biometric authenticationA catfish is someone who uses someone else’s identity. Most of the time, people do this on social networks to pretend they are someone else. This way they delude others, for instance in order to build trust or enter into a relationship. Unfortunately, identity theft can strongly affect the associated person. If you are the victim, it can take years to get back your credibility. Additionally, if you have been misled by a catfish fraud yourself, it may have various long-term effects on you. Thus, trust-levels on the internet are low and keep being problematic when entering a mere online relationship. This is the reason why Google has a new favorite term looked for: Image search catfish. The aim is to find a software to expose a catfish with the images they use on their social networks. Such software focuses on reverse image search techniques, comparing an input photo with an available database.


An alternative to reverse image search: Biometrics

The problematic issue brings up a new and broadly applicable use case for biometric authentication: Social networks need to use biometrics for their onboarding and login procedures. This is the only way to effectively prevent identity theft through images taken from another person on the internet. Face recognition can determine that the image uploaded shows the person sitting in front of the camera. Liveness detection makes sure, that a fraudster can’t use your photo or video to log on to an account or register. Also, for Know Your Customer (KYC) onboarding, a matching between live selfie and ID photo can be carried out. Face verification additionally introduces a convenient user journey, with any login or transaction being authorized simply with a selfie!


Catfish fraud prevented with face recognition

As known from Peter Steiner’s cartoon “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog”, there is a challenge related to identities on the internet. Individuals and companies alike need a valid, yet convenient way to determine whom they interact with. What already is reality in the financial industry may now be introduced for various types of social networks: Identity proofing with biometrics. Linking digital and physical identities with face recognition is highly accurate and secure. Additionally, strong liveness detection should be in place to prevent replay attacks and fraud. Catfish issues will automatically drop, fake profiles can be cleaned and individuals will be safer from fraudulent actions. Instead of having to test your online contact with a reverse image search, catfish will not even have the chance to register!



Ann-Kathrin Schmitt
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