ID verification and the mortgage industry – facing up to crime

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Fraud and money laundering are big business, especially in the UK. A report by the trade association for the banking and financial services sector, UK Finance, recently found that criminal gangs stole more than £1.3 billion through fraud last year.

And in a separate investigation by The Daily Mail, it found that fraud losses per person were higher in the UK than in any other leading western country, ahead of the United States, Canada and Australia, adding that more than 40 million adults in the country – nearly three in every four – had already been targeted this year by fraudsters, who stole £700 million from UK consumers in April alone, resulting in almost £3 billion in overall losses.

But fraudsters find it profitable to target companies as well.

According to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 46% of surveyed organisations have experienced fraud, corruption or other economic crimes in the last two years, even if the proportion of organisations experiencing fraud has remained relatively steady since 2018.

The report revealed that organised crime groups “are becoming more specialised and professional” and even have “goals, incentives and bonus structures” in place.

Attacks are also becoming increasingly high-tech. Everywhere from chat rooms, the dark web, crypto currency to false ID creation are avenues and tools for criminals to exploit.
Against this unnerving backdrop not a million miles from what you might have seen on the BBC’s disturbing high-tech crime thriller, The Capture, there are some firms fighting back with increasingly sophisticated technology.

One of these is Irish-based fintech start-up, ID-Pal, which claims to possess one of the most effective weapons against cyber criminals.

Its digital facial ID verification system – the company’s core offering – simply allows a business to verify the identity of a customer through facial recognition.

ID-Pal says its ability to verify documents in seconds, “beat every single type of attack” for liveness testing – including deep fakes – and for managing data security, can help mortgage firms combat cybercrime and protect themselves from fraud.

CEO Colum Lyons (pictured) told Mortgage Introducer that staying one step ahead of cyber criminals was key, particularly when fraud is carried out on a global scale.

“I always say about fraudsters that it’s their full-time job,” he said. “We very much classify ourselves as an orchestration layer, so underneath that are a lot of other technology providers. That allows us to move with the times – we are unbelievably flexible and very agile in terms of how we change and plug in and plug out different technologies.

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