a16z Podcast: Stories from the Frontlines of Synthetic Fraud
Published June 25, 2019
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34 min
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    Synthetic fraud—yes, it's a thing: a new evolution of consumer fraud that’s been emerging in financial services, to the tune of $1-$2B a year. In this episode of the a16z Podcast, Naftali Harris, co-founder and CEO of Sentilink, which builds technology to detect and stop synthetic fraud, talks with a16z's Hanne Tidnam and operating partner for information security Joel de la Garza all about what this new kind of fraud is. Where did this new form of fraud come from, and why is it on the rise? Who are true victims here (hint: it's not the Joneses... or maybe it is!). And what is the fundamental security issue really at the heart of it all? The conversation covers the fascinating life cycle of this long con: how these “synthetic” identities get made, incubated, and finally busted out… and some of the wildest stories (and art of storytelling!) behind the strangest fraud rings we've seen. *** The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments and certain publicly traded cryptocurrencies/ digital assets for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/. Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information. Where did this new form of fraud come from, and why is it on the rise? Who are true victims here (hint: it's not the Joneses... or maybe it is!). And what is the fundamental security issue really at the heart of it all? The conversation covers the fascinating life cycle of this long con: how these “synthetic” identities get made, incubated, and finally busted out… and some of the wildest stories (and art of storytelling!) behind the strangest fraud rings we've seen.
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