Tracesmart, the data and fraud prevention specialists, this week reached a landmark half million mortality records received from the General Register Office (GRO) as part of the Disclosure of Death Registration Information (DDRI) scheme. The UK Death Registration Information (DRI) was first released in September 2008 and Tracesmart Corporate were the first organisation to be approved by the GRO to receive the weekly update of the DRI following rigorous examination. The DRI is only accessible for the purposes prescribed by law and is stored within Tracesmart’s secure data facility.
The Home Office estimate that identity fraud costs the UK economy over £1.2 billion a year and the half million death records accumulated since the beginning of the scheme less than a year ago, supplemented by Tracesmart’s additional and vast database, will significantly help combat today’s ever increasing and resourceful fraudster. Mortality data is a key tool in the battle to beat identity fraud, especially its derivatives – impersonation of the deceased (IOD) and the lesser known concealment fraud.
Although both IOD and concealment fraud involve deceiving organisations into the belief that a deceased person is still alive and dishonestly claiming and receiving lines of credit and other beneficial services, the perpetrators differ greatly.
IOD fraud is often committed by professional fraudsters who utilise previous occupant’s mail or obituaries to assume an individual’s identity and obtain credit or benefits illegally. In contrast, concealment fraud is often committed by the deceased’s spouse or dependents, who deliberately neglect to notify the correct parties of the deceased’s passing in order to receive illicit funds.
Tracesmart is one of the UKs leading providers of identity fraud prevention tools, and its clients benefit significantly from the DDRI scheme as electronic identity checks and mortality screening searches are conducted utilising the weekly feed of the DRI. In addition to its identity verification facility, Tracesmart also provides a data cleansing service and an online resource to trace people for positive or negative intentions.
Highlighting the benefits of the DRI to Tracesmart and its clients, Mike Trezise, the company’s Managing Director commented, “Regularly updated mortality information has become crucial in our fight against fraud. Obviously, the more information we hold, better the chance we have of highlighting discrepancies within client databases and possible cases of fraud. The half million records of new mortality data received since the inception of the DDRI scheme is certainly a landmark and has already significantly helped Tracesmart, and our service users, expose fraudulent activity.”