Guest Writer: Delena D Spann

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Fraud Analytics: 21st Century Technology

A new cache of fraud analytics has entered the 21st Century rockin’ and rollin’ at an all-time high. Fraud has spread across the globe and fraud professionals predict that the amount of fraud will continue to increase as this decade rolls on due to advancements in technology and the increasing sophistication of fraudsters. Even Hollywood has recognized the prevalence of fraud. Remember the fascinating Woody Allen movie, Blue Jasmine? It told the story of a woman whose ex-husband, had been caught committing financial fraud and how it portrayed a character study of the after-effects of fraud on the family?

The old ways of tedious fraud analysis must give way to analytical tools that can consume large amounts of data (comprehensive sets of facts and figures) and spit out the evidence in hours and minutes instead of days, months or years. The technological level of these tools that can enhance financial auditing, forensic accounting and fraud examinations are all due to the refined level of inquiry that each brings to the table of detection.

Current fraud analytical tools uncover the nefarious workings of embezzlement, money laundering, credit card fraud and Ponzi schemes. But a much needed step is to expose the various schemes and educate the fraud professionals about the readily available and high-tech fraud analytic tools that are paving the way for a more defined and legally reliable paper trail that can withstand the scrutiny of the legal process.

For certain, con men and women can take advantage of honest folk precisely because they can make themselves appear to be credible to their victims. The sad truth is many fraudsters who engage in fraud have the ability to hide their assets and disappear. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. As 21st Century technology continues to astound us with their advances, the advent of powerful tools to analyze big data, financial statements, audit transactions and cyber fraud is the latest trend in the corporate, government and law enforcement world. Augmenting these analytics is the addition of third-party data. These analytical tools combined with customer data sets can expose some of the issues and fraud. The addition of third party data to enhance the customers’ data brings about an entirely new level of analytics and fraud exposure. Without this additional information and the use of the latest analytical tools, fraud remains undetected.

Why is fraud analytics technology significant in the 21st Century?
When financial transactions are combined with fraud-detection technology, a tremendous asset is born—one that could aid in finding fraudulent patterns, terrorist financing, money laundering, credit/debit card fraud and narcotics trafficking trends. The use of these sophisticated tools is called “fraud analytics”.
Fraud analytics technology is the new predictive tool of the future. These tools can provide an overview of the practices in analyzing data that should be used in today’s financial crimes investigations and fraud examinations. They allow the user to delve into fields of data mining and assess the complexities of the data discovered.

What is all the hoopla, and why is there such a great need for fraud technology?
At the center of fraud analytics technology is a more efficient way of preventing and detecting fraud as well as better ways of associating the perpetrators with each dynamic of a fraud investigation. Whether the solvency is to quickly identify related parties in the scheme or follow the money trail to offshore accounts, the new fraud technology tools can bring these nefarious persons to justice. Fraud analytics technology assists in helping fraud professionals detect anomalies and expose red flags, and it is highlighting emerging patterns within voluminous amounts of data. The use of fraud analytics technology does not have to be complex to be effective. While technology has helped increase the opportunities to commit fraud, the good news is that it also can play a key role identifying new ways to detect and prevent fraud.

The main difference between the use of fraud analytics technology and other applications is the methodology. By implementing a solution to combat fraud, organizations can take the first step towards a proactive approach. In conclusion, a combination of super fraud analytic tools and well-trained fraud professionals makes for a formidable foe against fraudulent evil-doers across the globe.

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Delena D. Spann, fraud analytics expert, is employed by a federal law enforcement agency where she is assigned to the Electronic and Financial Crimes Task Force. She routinely serves on high profile financial crimes investigations which include depicting anomalies, detecting red flags and using a wide range of sources and data to establish patterns of crime. Delena is frequently called upon as a guest speaker by colleagues and industry peers on her expertise in Fraud Analytics and Financial Crimes.