UK-based financial services comparison website GoCompare has announced that it has joined as an official member of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB). It is the first comparison website to do so.
The IFB is a non-profit organisation that provides information and support to the insurance industry in order to battle the scourge of insurance fraud. Comparison websites such as GoCompare are able to investigate suspicious actors, analysing them against IFB data so that they can quickly and efficiently ascertain whether there is a risk of fraud.
“Price comparison websites are on the frontline of the fight against fraud, with access to a wealth of data and intelligence on suspected fraudulent activity,” said Nick Benham, Head of Customer Services at the IFB. “It is therefore strategically important that the industry forges close links with comparison websites in order to reduce the opportunities for fraudsters and ensure our honest customers are not impacted. We are therefore delighted to welcome GoCompare to the IFB’s membership, which will further strengthen the Bureau’s capability to detect and disrupt organised fraud.”
This is not the first major move GoCompare has made in terms of fighting fraud; last year it partnered with Featurespace so that it could incorporate real-time machine learning into its processes, in order to quickly tag anomalies, block potentially fraudulent behaviours and securely recognise customers acting in good faith.
“The IFB plays an important role, leading the collective fight against organised fraud, and we’re thrilled to become the first UK comparison website to join as an official member,” said Fleur Lewis, GoCompare’s Head of Fraud. “We have been working alongside the IFB for several years and becoming a member will enhance our current fraud capabilities to protect both our partners and customers alike. Being a comparison website, we’re very aware that we act as the guardians of data for many insurers and we have an important role to play in the prevention of front-end fraud; we believe it’s our duty to support the industry in any way we can by identifying fraudulent behaviour and having this additional intelligence from the IFB increases our preventive measures at point-of-quote.”
This partnership can only be positive news – after all, the insurance industry and its customers need all the help they can get in the fight against fraud. KPMG Forensic found that the number of fraud cases that reached court in the UK in 2018 rose by 78 per cent compared with the previous year, costing well over £1 billion, and expectations suggest that this trend could continue in 2019.
“Fraud levels in the UK continue to rise as criminals look for new ways to exploit both public sector and private sector fraud opportunities,” commented KPMG’s Forensic Partner James Maycock earlier this year. “Sophisticated technology and social engineering have become closer to the norm for ‘professional’ criminals. Getting the large, often cross-border and complex frauds to court is both time-consuming and resource intensive. This places much more emphasis on businesses and consumers to protect themselves from a growing number of fraudsters who will take advantage given the opportunity.”