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Experian rolls out 'Mule Score' to help banks identify suspicious accounts

Experian rolls out 'Mule Score' to help banks identify suspicious accounts

Experian is rolling out a new service designed to help banks and building societies identify and close ‘money mule’ accounts which are used to house fraudulently-obtained funds.

According to new data from Experian, 42% of first-party current account fraud is now mule-related, with the fraud rate for current accounts rising by 13% in the first three months of the year.

The new service has been built to help banks identify and investigate fraudulent accounts, which are often used to disguise the movement of cash from authorised push payment fraud. APP scams in the UK accounted for £485 million in losses in 2022.

Currently, banks and other account providers don’t have information on where the money is being received from or being sent to except for confirmation of the payee, making it difficult for them to identify and investigate accounts potentially being used in this way.

Experian Mule Score analyses account opening history and turnover activity, applying bureau data and the modelled characteristics of more than 200,000 confirmed mule cases. The machine learning-system enables banks to assess their entire portfolio to help them spot questionable account activity.

In proof-of-concept trials, Experian says the system was able to identify accurately more than 50% of the highest risk mule accounts.

Eduardo Castro, managing director, identity and fraud, Experian UK&I, says: “Mule Score is the first solution of its kind, giving financial companies a comprehensive view of account activity, helping prevent them from onboarding potential mule accounts and detect already opened accounts which are suspicious.”

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