National Business Crime Solution (NBCS), a not for profit organisation that enables the sharing of data between law enforcement agencies and the business community in order to reduce crime, has introduced its latest pioneering fraud detection initiative. Praesidio – the Latin word for protection – is a data sharing solution that offers insight into persistent offenders who commit fraud against multiple online businesses, helping companies develop a more effective loss prevention strategy.
‘Claims’ is a type of crime increasingly prevalent, as unscrupulous individuals take advantage of the loopholes inherent within online purchasing.
For example, retailers are reporting instances of customers claiming not to have received goods, while some individuals are falsely stating that packages have not been packed correctly and ordered items are missing or that they have returned an item (when they haven’t) and their initial payment has not been credited.
The scale of the problem is immense and proof of concept work from NBCS, using 75,000 lines of data from six major online retailers, uncovered £3.4m worth of potentially fraudulent claims. One example is approximately £13,000 worth of claims a month that had cross matched based on two out of six retailers.
Online purchasing offers fraudsters a degree of anonymity due to the ability to use false or incomplete details during transactions. This situation has been addressed with Praesidio, which gathers data from retailers that suspect fraud has been committed, and cross-references their information with claims data provided from other companies. This can then identify patterns of behaviour and can also warn other retailers of potential fraud scenarios.
The specially configured Praesidio software uses a pattern matching sequence and delivers real time alerts, while NBCS adds further intelligence from its existing collaborated activity data. Utilising known data on those committing fraud helps build resilience against repeat offenders and can contribute to any police investigations. The result is a more robust online fraud prevention strategy, which clearly identifies current trends and hotspots, and helps reduce losses from this type of activity.
Spearheading NCBS’s Praesidio initiative is the company’s recently appointed fraud business development director, Alison Parkinson. With nearly two decades of experience within the retail sector, Alison has forged an enviable reputation for effective and forward thinking fraud prevention strategies. She joins NBCS from Next, where she held the position of Next Directory loss prevention manager for over 10 years.. Prior to that she spent nine years as profit protection manager at the Home Retail Group.
Commenting on her new position, Alison stated, ‘Having worked in the security industry for many years, I’ve watched the growth and influence of NBCS with keen interest and admiration. As someone who fully understands the role that intelligence sharing and technology can play in the fight against online retail crime and loss prevention, I’m delighted to have an opportunity to contribute to the organisation’s future success with Praesidio, which I firmly believe plugs the gap in terms of how this very serious problem is addressed.’
Alison’s appointment and the launch of Praesidio follow significant government funding for NBCS as part of the Home Office’s Police Transformation Fund. The award of a six-figure sum was in recognition of NBCS’s success in supporting the police in the battle against business crime and will enable it to drive membership up in order to operate as an entirely self-sufficient, self-governing entity, which is totally funded and controlled by members.
Daniel Hardy, managing director at NBCS, concluded, ‘Alison’s work so far in developing Praesidio has been very impressive and, when we launched it at Retail Risk in Leicester on October 5th, it was unanimously well received. From speaking to our members it is clear that they believe it can help counter the increasing threat of online fraud, and bring those committing this type of offence to book. Although Praesidio is currently being used in retail, it has the potential to be just as effective across the business community, as it is clear that preventing crime through the better use of intelligence sharing is the way forward for all organisations.’