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TransUnion, Corporate Insights tech tool fights fraud, corruption

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Consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion, together with forensic technology firm Corporate Insights, has unveiled a lifestyle assessment solution, which it says curbs the scourge of fraud and corruption in SA.

The solution uses big data to flag signs of fraud and corruption, helping businesses to identify employee fraud and vendor collusion, and also prevent it before it happens.

TransUnion and Corporate Insights say traditional lifestyle assessments can take weeks and cost thousands of rands.

The new automated solution provides forensic, risk and compliance teams with information quicker, and picks up fraud in three key areas: employees, procurement and recruitment processes, they say.

According to TransUnion, it also detects and reports signs of employee financial distress, sudden changes in asset ownership (including property and vehicles), and potential collusion and conflicts of interest between employees and suppliers.

“The challenge most leaders face is the lack of information to reliably and continually assess their company’s vulnerability to corruption and reputational risk,” says Hans Zachar, head of emerging markets at TransUnion Africa.

“Organisations need to quickly and proactively categorise risks across their entire operations, and cut the cost of fraud investigations by reducing dependence on costly traditional solutions.”

Siham Boda, CEO of Corporate Insights, comments: “Are people living beyond their means? Do they have undisclosed wealth and income, or undisclosed commercial relationships with vendors? Are employees using cellphones that mimic crime syndicate behaviour?

“Are IDs being misrepresented, and does the payroll contain ghost employees? By using this automated lifestyle solution, which is POPIA-compliant and respects the privacy of employees, organisations can pick up any unusual activities immediately, and focus their anti-fraud, compliance and risk activity early to mitigate risks.

“Automated lifestyle assessment, using the latest techniques and technologies around advanced analytics, data, information insights and machine learning, enables organisations to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.”

SA is experiencing higher rates of economic crime. According to PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020, 60% of South African organisations have experienced economic crime, 13% higher than the global average of 47%.

The survey notes that 7% of respondents who experienced fraud in the last 24 months reported losing more than $50 million, with 4% reporting direct losses in excess of $100 million.

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