First party fraud detection must finally bridge the risk management gap between credit policy and fraud policy

Experian recently contributed to a TSYS whitepaper focused on the various threats associated with first party fraud. I think the paper does a good job at summarizing the problem, and points out some very important strategies that can be employed to help both prevent first party fraud losses and detect those already in an institution’s active and collections account populations. I’d urge you to have a look at this paper as you begin asking the right questions within your own organization.

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The bad news is that first party fraud may currently account for up to 20 percent of credit charge-offs. The good news is that scoring models (using a combination of credit attributes and identity element analysis) targeted at various first party fraud schemes such as Bust Out, Never Pay, and even Synthetic Identity are quite effective in all phases of the customer lifecycle. Appropriate implementation of these models, usually involving coordinated decisioning strategies across both fraud and credit policies, can stem many losses either at account acquisition, or at least early enough in an account management stage, to substantially reduce average fraud balances. The key is to prevent these accounts from ending up in collections queues where they’ll never have any chance of actually being collected upon. A traditional customer information program and identity theft prevention program (associated, for example with the Red Flags Rule) will often fail to identify first party fraud, as these are founded in identity element verification and validation, checks that often ‘pass’ when applied to first party fraudsters.