a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: Stories from the Frontlines of Synthetic Fraud

Naftali Harris, Joel de la Garza, and Hanne Winarsky

Posted June 25, 2019

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.