The differences between first- and third-party frauds: Part I

September 4, 2009 by Guest Contributor

By: Kennis Wong

When consumers and the media talk about fraud and fraud risk, nine out of ten times they are referring to third-party frauds. When financial institutions or other organizations talk about fraud, fraud best practices, or their efforts to minimize fraud, they usually refer to both first- and third-party frauds.

The difference between the two fraud types is huge.

Third-party frauds happen when someone impersonates the genuine identity owner to apply for credit or use existing credit. When it’s discovered, the victim, or the genuine identity owner, may have some financial loss — and a whole lot of trouble fixing the mess. Third-party frauds get most of the spotlight in newspaper reporting primarily because of large-scale identity data losses. These data losses may not result in frauds per se, but the perception is that these consumers are now more susceptible to third-party frauds.

Financial institutions are getting increasingly sophisticated in using fraud models to detect third-party frauds at acquisition. In a nutshell, these fraud models are detecting frauds by looking at the likelihood of applicants being who they say they are. Institutions bounce the applicants’ identity information off of internal and external data sources such as: credit; known fraud; application; IP; device; employment; business relationship; DDA; demographic; auto; property; and public record. The risk-based approach takes into account the intricate similarities and discrepancies of each piece of data element.

In my next blog entry, I’ll discuss first-party fraud.

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