Sift Science is excited to announce that we’ve launched a podcast, Trust & Safety in Numbers! On Trust & Safety in Numbers, our host, Evan (that’s me!), and our trust and safety guru, Kevin Lee, will chat with people on all sides of the online fraud fight: fraud analysts, FBI agents, security consultants, former hackers, rogue cyborgs (okay, maybe not yet)… It’s an exciting time to be on the front lines of fraud. Trust & Safety in Numbers will take you there.

Here are three surprising things we’ve learned while producing our first podcast.

1. It takes all kinds of people to build a trust and safety team.

We sat down with Kevin Lee, our trust and safety expert, and Paul Rockwell, head of trust and safety at LinkedIn, to chat about building your fraud team. Both Kevin and Paul have extensive experience leading fraud teams, which has given them invaluable insight into what it takes to optimize your fraud-fighting force.

In particular, Kevin and Paul say it’s important to hire fraud analysts who have a keen sense of justice, the ability to stay sharp under pressure, and a healthy dose of perspective. But how do you find such unique people? It might take some intensive searching; Kevin says fraud analysts come from all walks of life, from former military officers to customer service reps.

Once you’ve assembled your fraud analyst, how do you turn such a diverse set of people into a cohesive team? And once you’ve done so, how do you get buy-in for your fraud team? To find out, check out the episode “How-To: Building a Trust and Safety Team” when it airs.

2. The online black market was once three guys and a message board.

Everyone knows that you can buy and sell anything on the internet. But how did the internet become a haven for shady characters peddling illegal wares? To find out, I spoke to Brett Johnson, a former hacker who once landed on the FBI Most Wanted list.

Brett was the mastermind behind ShadowCrew, a cybercrime forum where people could bid on stolen data and other ill-gotten goods. ShadowCrew is the template for today’s underground forums and marketplaces. In some sense, the dark web wouldn’t exist without it.

Today, Brett Johnson is a successful cybersecurity consultant. But the journey from hacker to security expert was a long and treacherous one. To learn more about Brett and his insights into social engineering, check out the episode “Interview with a Former FBI Most Wanted Hacker” when it airs.

3. The account takeover plague is spreading.

A lot of ink has been spilled over the rise of account takeover (ATO), a type of attack in which a fraudster steals account credentials such as passwords in order to access social media accounts, financial information, and more. ATO accounted for over $2 billion in losses last year. As ATO continues to rise, businesses – particularly B2B businesses that handle sensitive customer information – are sounding the alarm.

So, why the sudden rise in ATO? According to Karisse Hendrick, editor-at-large at, e-commerce has experienced a recent boom that’s put ATO on everyone’s radar. Larger B2B companies aren’t the only targets; fraudsters are now targeting smaller businesses and companies with mobile apps for shopping and customer loyalty programs.

What are businesses overlooking? How could they better prepare to deal with ATO? To find out, check out the episode “Alarmism and Account Takeover” now!

You can also subscribe or listen on iTunes, Google Play, SoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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Roxanna "Evan" Ramzipoor

Roxanna "Evan" Ramzipoor is a content marketing manager at Sift. Her debut novel The Ventriloquists will be released August 27, 2019.