Esri UK’s FraudAnalyst® to help beat ‘cash for crash’ criminals
Aylesbury, June 22nd 2011 – Esri UK today announced the launch of FraudAnalyst®, a new GIS (Geographic Information System) software tool to help combat insurance and banking fraud. Insurance fraud investigators have welcomed the advanced technology which reveals new insights into potentially bogus insurance claims, ID theft or mortgage and credit card fraud.
Statistics from the Insurance Fraud Bureau estimate that around 30,000 ‘cash for crash’ fraudulent accidents are staged every year, costing insurers in excess of £350 million.
FraudAnalyst® has been designed to alert insurance investigators to road junctions or roundabouts where accidents are being deliberately staged, by identifying abnormal or above average clusters of behaviour. Suspicious behaviour can be flagged for closer inspection while any trends uncovered help predict where and when fraudulent activity is likely to occur.
Other higher than average potentially fraudulent incidents such as property damage (eg televisions being dropped) in a particular neighbourhood can be revealed; flood claims can also be examined down to individual property level to see if a house within an ‘at risk’ postcode area, has in fact been affected by a flood.
“FraudAnalyst® gives insurance companies and banks a valuable new weapon in the fight against fraud,” said Simon Weaver, Product Manager at Esri UK. “Using geographic analysis to analyse claims unlocks new trends and insights investigators would not normally see, when looking at traditional data hidden in spreadsheets or databases. With ‘cash for crash’ claims standing at £350 million alone, FraudAnalyst’s® spatial intelligence will help cut these significant losses, along with many others.”
In its latest report, the government’s National Fraud Authority stated that the financial services industry lost £3.6 billion to fraud over the last 12 months; insurance fraud was the highest category at £2.1 billion, while mortgage fraud was £1 billion. FraudAnalyst® can also be used by banks to analyse the sequence of when a stolen or cloned credit card is used to help locate the offender. Possible cases of ID theft can be discovered by revealing requests for change of address which are outside the average distance people normally move from their previous home.
“‘Cash for crash’ false claims, often traffic accidents staged by crime rings, have seen a significant increase in recent years,” said Kate Beddington-Brown at CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service. “Geographic analysis presents a significant breakthrough in providing a better understanding of fraud, which can help not only identify fraudulent claims but improve the allocation of investigative resources. Any reduction in false claims means significant savings for the industry which has a positive impact on the cost of insurance for genuine consumers.”
The new fraud software is based on the analysis engine that underpins Esri’s CrimeAnalyst product, used by police forces across the UK and in more than 25 countries. South Yorkshire Police use it to deliver better crime intelligence to its 3,400 officers; the annual saving for the police authority is predicted to be over £1 million.
FraudAnalyst® has been developed to use a range of background mapping, including free Ordnance Survey (OS) VectorMap District maps that became available for download in May 2010. Esri UK is also developing future applications based on the same technology aimed at utilities, benefits and prescription fraud analysis.
FraudAnalyst® takes advantage of location or address information that banks and insurance companies have hidden away in spreadsheets or databases by giving it a grid reference. This allows disparate data sets to then be modelled and analysed in relation to each other, in addition to other types of data such as demographics or points of interest, flood risk areas, etc, using advanced visualisation and digital mapping techniques via FraudAnalyst’s easy to use toolbar.
According to the Ordnance Survey there was an 88% increase, over the previous 12 months, in the number of insurance fraud investigators (IFIs) using geographic information to build up evidential cases for prosecution. Nearly half (47%) are now using it to help with prosecutions compared to 25% previously. Almost four in five (77%) IFIs are using geography in their current role to help with hot spot analysis, verify customer information and help detect fraud at claim and policy inception stages.
About Esri UK
Esri UK is the leading provider of geographic information system (GIS) technology, helping businesses become more profitable and public service more efficient through a better understanding and analysis of location-based information. Esri UK offers an extensive range of GIS technology and professional services and is the only company in the UK providing a complete and entirely integrated GIS solution.
Esri UK has been providing GIS solutions for over 20 years to a wide range of markets including Central & Local Government, Commercial, Defence & National Security, Education, Public Safety, Utilities & Telecommunications, as well as catering for system integrators and application developers through the Esri Developer Network.
Customers include Birmingham City Council, Defra, the Environment Agency, Metropolitan Police Service, Ministry of Defence, Ordnance Survey, RSA Group, Scottish Power and The Crown Estate.
Esri UK is part of the Esri global business network with more than 300,000 customers in 150 countries worldwide. Esri technology runs on more than one million desktops and thousands of web and enterprise servers, providing the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis.
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