Global data and analytics provider LexisNexis Risk Solutions has partnered with anti-fraud data management company Synectics Solutions to work with the Cabinet Office on the UK’s National Fraud Initiative (NFI).
The NFI is a government-led exercise first launched in 1996 that matches data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud across the UK. Specifically, the NFI works towards delivering one of the Government Counter Fraud Function’s strategic objectives to focus on intelligence sharing and the use of data, measured by increasing the detection, prevention and recovery of fraud loss across the public sector. Since its launch, it has helped to prevent an estimated £1.4 billion in losses to fraud for public and private organisations.
The National Crime Agency highlights fraud as the most commonly experienced crime, with 3.8 million instances reported in the National Crime Survey of England and Wales in 2019. In the public sector it is estimated that fraud and error costs the government an estimated £31 billion to £53 billion every year. Since 2018, the focus of the NFI has therefore expanded from fraud detection to also including fraud prevention tools. Working towards its objective of targeting new and emerging fraud risks, the NFI now has a specific business development work stream which identifies new technologies and data matching opportunities across the public and private sector.
Historically the intelligence gathered by the NFI programme has only been available to Public Sector organisations in the UK. However, since 2016 Synectics Solutions has been working with the Cabinet Office to evaluate the use of the National Fraud Initiative data sets within Private Sector Organisations to support the effective detection and prevention of fraud. With over 300 million records and 22 data sources supplied by over 1,200 participating public sector bodies, NFI represents a unique opportunity for firms to enhance their fraud and financial crime prevention capabilities, and identify relevant risk scenarios.
The latest partnership with LexisNexis Risk Solutions will leverage the LexisNexis online identity verification platform (IDU). The LexisNexis IDU capabilities will harness the NFI data through a secure portal provided on behalf of the NFI by Synectics Solutions. This will provide an in-depth fraud assessment of an individual’s data footprint at the point of application, to protect genuine customer applications and highlight potential fraud risks around an identity.
“This is a continually evolving threat, with fraudsters finding new and creative ways of illicitly accessing people’s data and finances. The risk goes beyond the direct monetary loss as the growth in fraudulent activity hinders the delivery of a frictionless experience for legitimate consumers,” comments Karolina Iwaszko, Director, Product Management at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions. “By collaborating with the National Fraud Initiative and Synectics Solutions, we hope to support society in two ways – the first, by protecting honest and genuine consumers, and the second by stopping the minority who wish to defraud. This partnership with the National Fraud Initiative is a good example of how combining government and other data sources will maximise our resources in the fight against fraud and help create a better, safer society for everyone.”