Fraud avoidance system set to save UK businesses £300 million ~ online database traps serial offenders ~

CMG has won a contract to build and host an online service that will help to reduce the level of fraud in the UK. The new Fraud Investigation Database (FIND) will allow banks, building societies and other financial institutions to further protect themselves against fraud.

The system which is run by CIFAS, the UK’s fraud prevention service, is being developed by CMG, an ICT services specialist. Participating members of CIFAS include all the major banks, credit card companies, asset finance organisations, retail store cards, mobile phone companies and many insurers. They will use the database to share information securely in real-time which was not possible under the paper-based system.

CIFAS members are protected against a range of different fraud offences including false identity fraud, application fraud, conversion, first party fraud (opening an account for fraudulent purposes), aiding and abetting and insurance claims fraud.

The launch of the service is in response to an increase in fraudulent activity. According to the latest report from KPMG Forensics , the total number and value of fraud cases in the UK has surged this year, already exceeding the £224 million total in 2001. Major fraud cases being heard in the UK increased from 19 in the second half of 2001 to 35 in the first six months of this year.

The CIFAS service will, for the first time, allow members to identify past and present trends, as all of the information will be stored centrally. It has been estimated that the CIFAS system alone will be used to prevent over £300 million of fraud in its first year.

"Fraud is a multi-million pound industry. However, it doesn’t just affect large banking and investment corporations, but every type of business and individual. The only way we can stamp this out is to get all of the parties involved, from the police to our members and the victims, to share the information about these crimes," said Peter Hurst, chief executive of CIFAS.

"Many of our members use CMG’s services and the company came highly recommended," he added. "CMG really took time to get to know our organisation and presented a solution that matched all of our needs. We were looking for a long-term partner and in CMG, we found one."

"Cutting down on instances of fraud requires a concerted effort," added Phil Race, managing director in CMG’s finance sector. "FIND is designed to ensure a better pooling of data, which in turn enables users to access relevant information, quickly and efficiently."

The system is due to go live in mid 2003.

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