Published: Wednesday October 09, 2013

importance of consulting non-traditional ID data sources to prevent fraud

Speaking at CCR Magazine's six-stream CCR Interactive conference last week, Josef Thoma of GBGroup (GBG) warned business leaders not to rely entirely on traditional data sources in the fight against identity crime. 

'If you want to get the greatest coverage, which is what you're going to need with the UK population, it isn't about using one or two datasets; you're going to need as much data as possible,' advised Thoma.

While once traditional information sources such as the BT Phonebook and Electoral Roll may have been sufficient, GBG's Director of Trace & Investigate comments that with many consumers opting out of sharing their data, "Now these datasets, both of them, approximately fifty per cent are now inaccessible. Certainly fraudsters are very aware of these datasets and you won't find them on there anyway."

With this trend, combined with the fact that modern contact details including mobile numbers and email addresses are missing from these resources, there are some major gaps in the information provided by traditional data sets. As a result, Thoma believes it is vital for businesses to also consider non-traditional data sources.

"There is new data available and being sourced by GBG and multiple other organisations. We can have access to that data that's going to fill in a lot of those gaps," Thoma explains, adding, "That's referred to in the marketplace as consented data."

Consented data is the group term that applies to data volunteered by the consumer through platforms like loyalty programs and catalogues, price comparison sites and competitions. Given the incentives behind these schemes, there is little reason for consumers to falsify data, and as Thomas clarifies, "As long as it's for contacting existing clients, it's a perfectly legitimate use to access this sort of data."

Combining this new data with traditional sources, businesses can get a more comprehensive picture of the suitability of any potential customers, clients or employees, providing greater security against fraud attempts. As a final warning though, Thoma points out that even this solid base can be liable to failure if data isn't well maintained, with thousands of individuals changing their contact details each day as they move house, marry and divorce.

"It's all about capturing, verifying and very importantly maintaining that continuity of information," concludes Thoma. Contact GBGroup for further information on how to protect against crime attempts through ensuring your identification data is complete, valid and in date.