Cifas are the leaders in fraud prevention, enabling organisations in every sector to prevent fraud and protect the public – by sharing data, spreading knowledge and pushing the capabilities of technology. OS has been supporting Cifas for over six years now, by helping to communicate how fraud affects us all through a series of reports and by demonstrating how OS’s mapping and addressing data can help organisations in the fight against fraud.
In 2014, 41% of all fraud (almost 114,000 cases) recorded by organisations through Cifas’ National Fraud Database were identity frauds. These are frauds where a fraudster has used the identity details of an individual to obtain a product or service in their name. These frauds targeted a wide variety of products: from bank accounts to mobile phone contracts, loans to insurance.
Doing more with less – it’s a challenge that runs across the public sector. There’s no easy answer to this drive for efficiency, many public organisations are looking at increasing their use of digital solutions to drive greater levels of efficiency in resource hungry tasks.
One area that puts pressure on public finances is the battle with fraud. It is estimated that council tax fraud costs local authorities £131 million a year. And, this figure is increasing at a rate of 32 percent from 2011 statistics.
Like many councils, Stratford-upon-Avon’s district council have a fraud investigation team which focuses on reducing the volume of council tax fraud. To tackle this problem, detailed checks have to be made on individuals and their physical location – so geography plays a significant role in what initially sounds like a purely financial problem.
Simon Fitzgerald, CIFAS Programme & New Developments Manager, was very enthusiastic about the release of OS OpenData, and downloaded OS Street View, Boundary Line and Code Point Open for the London Boroughs as soon as the service went live. Using a freely available open source Geographic Information System, Simon set about loading elements of the fraud data that CIFAS collects from its Member organisations spread across the financial services sector and beyond.