Michael W. Lucas made big plans to take a trip around the world in March 2020. He arranged to travel from his home in Detroit to Tokyo, then attend conferences in Hong Kong and Bangalore, India, before making a final stop in Paris.
But on his first attempt to buy plane tickets, this ambitious itinerary — costing $2,932.48 — got the attention of Capital One, which blocked the charges.
"I was both annoyed and pleased that the credit card company caught that someone was booking unusual flights," said Mr. Lucas, a 54-year-old technology writer who is also an author of mystery novels. After calling the bank to explain his plans, the transactions went through smoothly. (The trip, however, was ultimately canceled because of the pandemic.)
Mr. Lucas's fraud alerts were made possible by an invisible force tiptoeing into Wall Street: cloud computing. Before moving into the cloud, his bank, Capital One, was limited to tracking fraud using the bandwidth of the servers it owned. Now that it rents capacity from Amazon Web Services, the bank can use machine learning to crunch numbers faster — and on an enormous scale — to detect anything out of the ordinary.
From The New York Times
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