Tracesmart Ltd, leading providers of identity fraud prevention tools and data cleansing services, have today announced that they are the first company to be approved to receive UK death registration information (DRI) as part of the General Register Office's (GRO) disclosure of death registration information (DDRI) scheme. The DRI will be stored in Tracesmart's secure data facility and employed in the firm's range of services which allow their customers to conduct comprehensive identity checks to aid in the prevention of impersonation of the deceased (IOD) fraud – a rapidly growing form of identity fraud.
The Home Office estimate that identity fraud currently costs the UK economy over £1.7 billion a year, so to help tackle this ever growing crime recent legislation includes provisions to combat IOD fraud. Under the Police and Justice Act 2006 and the Local Electoral Administration and Registrations Services (Scotland) Act 2006 the Registrars General for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been granted the power to release DRI to assist in the 'prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of offences'. In light of this the DDRI scheme was launched on 16th January 2008 to support the fight against IOD fraud. Administered on behalf of the three Registrars General by the GRO for England & Wales, the DDRI scheme provides successful applicants with an electronic file of deaths registered in the UK on a weekly basis – this will ensure that fraudsters can be quickly identified and dealt with before they can do any fiscal or emotional damage.
Tracesmart will be utilising the DRI in their electronic identity verification and mortality screening services which are employed by a host of different industries as Michael Trezise, Managing Director of Tracesmart, explains, "The majority of businesses can be affected by impersonation of the deceased fraud and as such we provide a variety of services which allow companies to protect themselves and consumers from this threat. Whether it is a solicitors firm conducting identity checks as part of their anti-money laundering obligations or a credit card company carrying out know your customer due diligence, our clients can rest assured that our services will remain in the vanguard of fraud prevention – a fact that is reinforced by our being the first company to be approved by the GRO and our active acquisition of new data."
Prior to being approved by the GRO, Tracesmart had to fulfil a variety of stringent prerequisites and underwent a full security audit of their site and storage systems. The GRO implemented these measures to ensure that the DRI is only accessed by appropriate persons and organisations for the purposes prescribed by law. The release of DRI is also welcomed by the UK's fraud prevention service – CIFAS – as their Head of Communications, Kate Beddington-Brown notes, "IOD fraud is unspeakably cruel, adding immeasurably to the grief of bereaved individuals at the worst possible time. The emotional harm and financial strain that it can add to the sadness of bereavement is unimaginable. Having campaigned for years for reform that would put an end to IOD fraud, CIFAS was delighted when the Registrars General responded to the problem by working together to provide a practicable solution. Now that their hard work is finally coming to fruition, we welcome this announcement and are confident that this will help to stamp out IOD fraud once and for all."
Notes to Editors:
Impersonation of the Deceased (IOD) Fraud – The identity of a deceased person is adopted in order to facilitate fraudulent activity.
Tracesmart Ltd – Formed in 1999, Tracesmart supply a range of fraud prevention services via their electronic identity verification and data cleansing tools. Prominent in the pensions, legal, financial and retail sectors, their fraud prevention systems are relied upon by businesses ranging from SME to Blue Chip.
Michael Trezise – Founder and Managing Director at Tracesmart, Trezise has extensive experience in fraud analysis and prevention, experience which provides the company with a distinct competitive advantage.
CIFAS – The UK's Fraud Prevention Service – CIFAS is a not for profit membership association dedicated to the prevention of financial crime and staff fraud. CIFAS provides a range of fraud prevention services to its members, including a fraud avoidance system used by the UK's financial services companies and public authorities. www.cifas.org.uk
Adam Smith – Marketing Manager
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