Esri UK launches FraudAnalyst

Source: Esri UK

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 elp locate the offender. Possible cases of ID theft c 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.

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