In the Face of 'Imminently Solvable' Challenges, Scamnetic Presents an Accessible Solution for Consumers

In the Face of 'Imminently Solvable' Challenges, Scamnetic Presents an Accessible Solution for Consumers

By Alex Passett

You know what’d be great, readers? An everyday app that helps people – accessibly, and in real time – identify and stop scams before losses occur. We’re talking about putting technology in the hands of consumers to deliver them legitimate peace of mind (especially in such a charged era, given as-we-speak sophisticated advances in technology).

With a proprietary, data-driven approach to address (and reduce) scam victim rates, maintainable prevention can be achieved.

So in that vein, let’s talk about Scamnetic, shall we?

Scamnetic, an early-stage startup founded by cyber safety veterans, operates by a highly understandable M.O. – hyper-focus on the rapidly growing and increasingly damaging incidences of cyber scams and help consumers proactively. With patent-pending technology that can detect scam attempts by email, phone, social media and even text message (powered by a high degree of automation), the ongoing mission is to create a well-trusted, ever-constant touchpoint for those in need of this support.

To explore this further, I was able to dive into specifics with Al Pascual, Scamnetic’s CEO. Below are highlights from our conversation:

Let’s get into this. What does your background entail, and how does it connect to the genesis of Scamnetic?

Pascual: I’ve been in the broad security space for more than 20 years. My experience started in banking, protecting institutions like HSBC and Goldman Sachs from check fraud, credit card and mortgage fraud, the works.

Back in those days, things weren’t digital; they were analog. Crimes were being committed differently. You worked them as though you were an enforcement officer, of sorts; building a case, collecting evidence, engaging witnesses and so on. I got a really grounded understanding of what banks’ priorities were, and I learned how these crimes were generally committed – how bad actors got info, and why they were or weren’t successful.

What did that lead to?

Pascual: Well, eventually I shifted toward a change. That ended up manifesting as me becoming an industry analyst at an organization called Javelin Strategy and Research.

For context, Javelin publishes figures on identity theft. Odds are favorable that if you’ve seen reports on such theft, it’s a Javelin figure.

There, I conducted quantitative, consumer-based research on authentication and theft, which led to us providing strategic guidance for federal regulators and banks. So when I ended up running Javelin for a little while, I wanted to ask (and keep asking) “What can be solved on the macro level?”

This resulted in me getting an itch to get into the technology side of things. (Plus, living in the tech hub of San Francisco at the time certainly helped with this developing interest.)

And you started a tech company?

Pascual: An AI technology solutions company, yes. We focused on data breaches that led to theft.

The idea I had with my partner at the time – Jim Van Dyke, Javelin’s founder – was that when data breaches happen, people don’t often know what that really means. Imagine opening up instructions for repairing a stereo, for instance. It can admittedly be confusing.

Us pursuing this led to successes, which were appealing to other companies in the identity protection space.

So when our company was bought out by Sontiq, a division of TransUnion, we proceeded to help them make the most of their solutions and sought ways to better leverage new technologies to prevent identity left.

Assessing, like, “Is this scam real?” and “Should I respond to it? How do I even go about that?” That about right?

Pascual: Exactly. From close family members to entire national brands, I continued asking what could be solved – what could truly be done, and what could be put in the hands of consumers so everyone understands more thoroughly.

The thing, though, was that scams taking place in environments already entrenched by complex regulations were more difficult to tackle because of various parties’ lacks of liability.

But I sat there and thought “From an enterprise perspective, this should still be the right time to make a difference. This is imminently solvable.”

That’s why – with an honest approach, through the application of advanced and well-understood protections for tech in the same way we provided protections for banks – actually handling scams becomes more accessible. They can be tackled, and their roots can be dug up proactively in order to assure customers more than just a thin patina of safety.

That’s certainly valuable.

Pascual: Indeed. By building tech that can readily be put in consumers’ hands so they don’t need to rigorously become experts in terms of scams, they access resolutions with more peace of mind and without being expected to handle multiple unwieldy applications. That’s unfair to do to people.

We want to put one 24/7 line-of-sight solution in their hands that keeps them clear from scammers’ reaches, a solution that utilized AI-based tech to prevent scams from being successful.

Any last thoughts as we wrap this up?

Pascual: Look, I just don’t want people to get scammed, and I don’t want them to have to jump through a series of hoops to even get close to resolving the damages left in scammers’ wakes. I want to give people something in the moment that solves their problem, rather than giving them more educational materials to sift through. We can get ahead of threats and make this a reality for people in need.

For more information on Scamnetic’s multitude of services as its journey continues, read here.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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