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Pandemic underscores growing need for anti-fraud technology

As pandemic-fueled fraud reaches new heights, SAS and the ACFE commemorate International Fraud Awareness Week's 20-year anniversary

As the global coronavirus pandemic rages on, another costly pandemic has taken shape. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), 77% of members surveyed reported increasing levels of fraud amid COVID-19 disruption, one-third of them describing it as significant – and 92% expect it to climb further still.

SAS, the leader in analytics, joins the ACFE in spotlighting International Fraud Awareness Week, Nov. 15-21. Now in its 20th year, Fraud Week is a call for all organizations to fight fraud with awareness and education. The week's opportunities to engage and learn about fraud prevention include:

  • Pandemic-Driven Pressure: Impacts of the Coronavirus on Digital Fraud, Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m. ET – This ACFE-hosted webinar will gather industry experts from SAS to discuss the pandemic-driven uptick in digital banking and its effects on the fraud landscape and customer experience. The experts will also explore advanced analytic technologies that offer financial services organizations the quickest and best ROI.

  • Modernizing retail fraud prevention, Friday, Nov. 20 at 9 a.m. ET – Join Capgemini and SAS for a spirited #SASchat on Twitter. A panel of retail fraud experts will focus on strategies for connecting data on customer behavior, credit history and dozens of other factors – in milliseconds – to prevent fraud and accelerate decision making.

  • The Escalation of Digital Fraud: Global Impact of the Coronavirus – Download the new research report from SAS and Javelin Strategy & Research, examining how the COVID-19 pandemic is fueling digital payments fraud. The study's findings are based on 120 independent interviews of payment and security executives in 20 countries, conducted from December 2019 through September 2020.

"Criminals are taking advantage of the worldwide pivot to digital interactions and transactions," said Stu Bradley, Vice President of Fraud and Security Intelligence at SAS. "It is critical for business leaders – particularly those in highly targeted industries like banking, government, health care and insurance – to adjust their anti-fraud technologies to reflect today's new realities and effectively use available digital data to beat the bad guys at their own game."

Government agency cracks down on insurance fraud

North Carolina's State Insurance Commissioner last year reported that, for every dollar paid for insurance premiums in the state, nearly 20 cents was lost to fraud. To better manage its caseloads and gain an investigational edge, the North Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI) turned to SAS for a new case management and reporting system.

Built on SAS® Viya®, the Insurance Crimes Investigation System (ICIS) launched in March. It is the central investigational hub for the DOI's investigators, from initial evidence intake and case development through prosecution and beyond. Algorithms replaced manual processes, helping filter and categorize data, assign resources and facilitate workflows, and even build cases.

According to Frank Rodriguez, Deputy Commissioner of the DOI's Criminal Investigation Division, the ICIS has improved case management efficiency 90%, while the number of insurance fraud related arrests has doubled.

AI-powered chatbot to help victims of identity crimes

Identity theft can happen at any time, day or night. To better serve victims of such crimes, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) turned to long-time ally, SAS, to create a chatbot, or virtual identity theft assistant.

Using AI technology including natural language processing, SAS has developed ViViAN, short for Virtual Victim Assistance Network, in collaboration with the ITRC. Now in beta testing for an early 2021 launch, ViViAN is intended to be a client's first line of communication with the ITRC, helping staff minimize wait times and assist more people.

The non-profit has seen a steep rise in contact volume around unemployment benefits identity theft, from fewer than 20 reports in 2019 to nearly 750 in 2020 through October.

"Behind every instance of fraud is a human victim," said ITRC President and CEO, Eva Velasquez. "ViViAN will provide an invaluable lifeline to victims of such crimes, helping them find the resources they need at any hour of the day or night, whenever they need it most."

Insurance consortium curbs claims fraud with AI and analytics

In 2015, Brazil's insurance consortium, CNseg, launched an initiative to centralize fraud prevention operations throughout the Brazilian insurance sector. FenSeg, Brazil's national P&C insurance federation, is the first of four federations benefiting from CNseg's collaboration with SAS.

SAS® Detection and Investigation for Insurance uses multiple techniques, including advanced analytics with embedded AI and machine learning. Through these capabilities, FenSeg gained the ability to score claims in real time and a visual interface for spotting linked entities and crime rings it may have otherwise missed. The platform has brought more suspicious claims to light through a speedier, automated process while increasing alerts by 286%.

"But the key to fraud prevention isn't just more alerts – it's more accurate alerts that insurers can act on," said Ricardo Pereira, Insurance Fraud Prevention and Combat Manager at CNseg. "I'm pleased to say that the number of suspicious claims that proved to be fraudulent has increased 67%, thanks to SAS' fraud detection solution."

Learn more and join the conversation

The pandemic has upended "business as usual," allowing all manners of fraud to flourish. The impacts these schemes are particularly acute now, as organizations struggle to adjust their operations and stay afloat. Learn more about SAS' fraud analytics solutions online, and follow #fraudweek on Twitter to join the conversation.





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