In some online payment systems, scammers may use a fake company name that is visually similar to that of an authentic merchant. Due to the similarity in name, unsuspecting customers who fail to notice the similarity may inadvertently pay the scammer rather than the authentic merchant. This disclosure describes automated techniques to detect if a candidate merchant has a name that is similar to an authentic merchant. For such detection, alphabetic and alphanumeric maps are used to generate permutations of authentic merchant names. Soundex encodings are generated for the permutations. When a candidate merchant name is selected for payment, the Soundex encoding for the candidate merchant is compared to those for known authentic merchants. If there is a match, a warning is provided to the user attempting payment. For candidate merchant names for which Soundex encoding cannot be generated, a string match with permutations of authentic merchant name is performed to detect similarity. The described techniques can detect fraudulent merchants that attempt to leverage phonetic and/or visual similarity to an authentic merchant name.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Aggarwal, Ankit; Zhang, Xuqian; and Geewax, JJ, "Detection of Scammers Impersonating Authentic Merchants in Online Payment Systems", Technical Disclosure Commons, (March 29, 2023)