SAS Partners Up with IFB on Anti-Fraud Strategy

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has launched its new fraud prevention platform, powered by analytics leader SAS. Using advanced intelligent management capabilities the platform will allow insurance companies and authorities to safely and quickly share information to clamp down on fraudulent activity.

The IFB is a not-for-profit organisation that works with the industry to collectively fight and prevent insurance fraud. Founded in 2006, the IFB is used by the majority of general insurers and has become an industry standard for many areas, including motor, home and liability insurance.

A growing danger

Insurance fraud is a major social and economic menace in the UK. There are more than 100,000 reported instances of fraud each year, amounting to a £1.3bn loss to the economy. However, the true scale of the crime is likely to be much larger due to instances that go unreported.

Fraudsters are often highly organised, drawing in or coercing hundreds of recruits to take part in scams and false claims. Their operations are often sophisticated with several degrees of separation within networks, making it difficult to target ringleaders. Spotting the commonalities between crimes and associates is a real challenge, requiring in-depth interrogation of the data available.

The situation has become even more complex with the introduction of data protection regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). With greater restrictions on how insurers collect and share customer data, many are wary about sharing useful information with the rest of the industry. Furthermore, fraudsters are not bound by the same rules and regulations that insurers are. They can collaborate and share information rapidly, allowing them to move quickly to avoid detection.

A rapid, decisive response

The ability of the insurance industry to share intelligence in a safe, fast, compliant and efficient manner is vitally important in the fight against fraud. That is why IFB turned to SAS to help develop a new, more robust data sharing platform for its users.

Traditionally, the methods by which insurers reported suspicious activity to one another was manual, slow and highly fragmented. There was a clear lack of a joined-up process meaning that information was shared imperfectly, leaving many firms unaware of and vulnerable to known threats.

To boost industry efforts and response times, IFB’s new platform serves as an industry-scale intelligence database that detects fraud rapidly across the widest possible spectrum. Thanks to consistent data quality policies, the system can easily and quickly share information between different bodies and authorities. The system can track everything from small-scale, opportunistic fraud to organised cash-for-crash operations.

The platform serves as a broker between organisations, ensuring they can view each other’s fraud intelligence without knowing the source. It helps prevent data misuse while ensuring compliance.

“Many people believe that fraud is a relatively small and victimless crime. However, the truth is far more serious,” explained Ben Fletcher, Director at the IFB. “Insurance fraud ensnares thousands every year, ruining lives and plunging many desperate people into criminality. It is vital that the industry pulls together to challenge this common enemy. It’s in everyone’s interest that fraud is effectively tackled and reduced in scale.

“We decided to work with SAS as it had a proven track record of helping organisations tackle fraud, with many of the functionalities that IFB needed off-the-shelf. However, SAS also helped create bespoke features including two-factor authentication, visualised results and search functionalities specially for the IFB platform.”

Charles Senabulya, Vice President & Country Manager, SAS UK & Ireland, said: “Fraud is constantly evolving. Being agile and able to evolve quickly is a major advantage that fraudsters have held over the insurance industry for years. However, the IFB’s new platform enables insurers to share information on fraudulent activity much more quickly, helping them pool resources and collaborate with authorities for a rapid, decisive response. The fight against sophisticated fraudsters will continue, and use of best-in-class technology is key to winning the battle.”

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