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Generic fraud score – best practice, Part 2

By: Kennis Wong

In Part 1 of Generic fraud score, we emphasized the importance of a risk-based approach when it comes to fraud detection. Here are some further questions you may want to consider.

What is the performance window?

When a model is built, it has a defined performance window. That means the score is predicting a certain outcome within that time period. For example, a traditional risk score may be predicting accounts that are decreasing in twenty-four months. That score may not perform well if your population typically worsens in two months. This question is particularly important when it relates to scoring your population. For example, if a bust-out score has a performance window of three months, and you score your accounts at the time of acquisition, it would only catch accounts that are busting-out within the next three months. As a result, you should score your accounts during periodic account reviews in addition to the time of acquisition to ensure you catch all bust-outs.  Therefore, bust out fraud is an important indicator.

Which accounts should I score?

While it’s typical for creditors to use a fraud score on every applicant at the time of acquisition, they may not score all their accounts during review. For example, they may exclude inactive accounts or older accounts assuming those with a long history means less likelihood of fraud. This mistake may be expensive. For instance, the typical bust-out behavior is for fraudsters to apply for cards way before they intend to bust out. This may be forty-eight months or more. So when you think they are good and profitable customers, they can strike and leave you with seriously injury. Make sure that your fraud database is updated and accurate.  As a result, the recommended approach is to score your entire portfolio during account review.

How often do I validate the score?

The answer is very often — this may be monthly or quarterly. You want to understand whether the score is working for you – do your actual results match the volume and risk projections? Shifts of your score distribution will almost certainly occur over time. To meet your objectives over the long run, continue to monitor and adjust cutoffs.  Keep your fraud database updated at all times.