“After implementing iovation FraudForce, we noticed a substantial decline in the number of ghost broker applications that converted into policies,” said Stephen Adams, Fraud Manager at Confused.com.
“For example, one set of associated devices using hundreds of personas saw a 98% decline in quotes from our price-comparison service, and a 90% decline in converted fraudulent policies over a period of one year. This decline demonstrates how we are successfully blocking fraudsters.”
These results reflect Confused.com’s deep commitment to helpingthe insurance industry fight fraud and saving consumers money. TheUK’s first price-comparison service generates over one millionquotes per month for consumers who expect unparalleled choiceand value. Insurance partners rely on Confused.com to help themfind legitimate customers and prevent policy fraud. iovation’sFraudForce is the centerpiece of Confused.com’s fight againstghost broking, it helps stop fraud while providing a frictionlessexperience for good customers.
Ghost broking puts buyers at risk of: full liability for damages in anaccident, losing their car and driving privileges, and fines forhundreds of pounds. On insurers’ side, the scam increases potentialliability for: claims on uninsured cases, chargebacks if policies areincepted with stolen credit cards, and reputational damage where stolen identities appear on policies. While these consequenceshaven’t changed much, fraudsters’ tactics have.
In the past, ghost brokers would make small changes to anapplicant’s information—a different occupation, or lower mileageon the car, for example—in order to reduce the quoted price of thepolicy. Today, Stephen says that the majority of the personalinformation on ghost broker applications—names, paymentinformation, contact information—are entirely fake or stolen. Oftenonly the vehicle registration is legitimate on these applications,
so that the buyers won’t be flagged by police cameras for drivingwithout insurance.
Recently, Stephen and his team worked closely with an insurer-partner to prosecute a ghost broker. The information generatedby iovation FraudForce was instrumental to the case’s success.
Investigating and prosecuting a ghost broking ring
The investigation began when another iovation subscriber, who is also a Confused.com partner, shared with Stephen’s teamsuspicions of a ghost broking ring. iovation device IDs allowed thepartners to coordinate their inquiry. Confused.com found that thesame group of devices, connected through their iovation device IDs,were actively running ghost broking schemes across the UKinsurance industry.
The results of the partner’s own research yielded a potent anddetailed complaint to the Insurance Fraud EnforcementDepartment (IFED), a specialist unit of the City of London Policededicated to tackling insurance fraud. Confused.com’sinvestigation helped to convince IFED to pick up the case.
“When IFED’s request for information came in, we had a completeversion of our iovation data ready,” says Stephen. “We provided thatinformation and our own police statement to aid IFED’sinvestigation. Also, we alerted other partners to any other sales thatwere linked to that ghost broking ring, so they could investigate andprotect themselves.”
So far, one ghost broker has been arrested and is under current investigation. Stephen expects that two other cases with IFEDwill lead to similar results.
“iovation is one of Confused.com's primary fraud tools,” saysStephen. “Device intelligence contributes to influence over 85%
of our decisions to decline an application and has reduced our fraudrate by 60%. Many of our insurer-partners have recognized andappreciated the higher quality business that we’re sending themthanks to iovation.”
How Confused.com fights fraud with iovation FraudForce
“Historically, we have found it difficult to understand when andwhere fraud takes place. It typically emerges ‘downstream’ withour insurer-partners,” says Stephen. “Implementing iovationFraudForce has helped us to fill that knowledge gap. Because thedevice recognition technology is in place across so much of the UKinsurance industry, and with so many of our insurer-partners, wehave a clear picture of device usage. Because they diligently submitevidence against devices that commit fraud or abuse, othersubscribers can identify when they’re at risk from a bad device.”
Stephen regularly uses the iovation Intelligence Center—based on iovation’s experience with more than 6 billion devices and 66 millionconfirmed cases of fraud—for sharing information securely withother insurer-partners. If he notices fraud hitting a particular insurer,he notifies specific contacts there. At other times, he will ask if anyof the other 4,900 fraud analysts active on the platform have seena particular device ID engaged in fraudulent behavior on their digitalproperties.
“Combining iovation device ID data with personal data has been oneof the strongest benefits to my team,” says Stephen. “In the past,when we have discerned fraud rings via personal data, there’s toomuch genuine traffic mixed in to justify a hard block. The addedclarity from iovation device ID data gives us the certainty to takedecisive action. When we draw a connection to a specific fraudster,we can block only their traffic, not that of genuine customers.”
iovation subscribers’ sharing of intelligence is driving fraudsters tothe contact center. Fraudsters will initiate an application throughConfused.com, then call the insurer-partner to socially engineer acall center agent into incepting the policy. When partners receivethose suspect calls, they’re forewarned by the iovation device datathat Confused.com collects at the quote level. The fraudulentpolicies are stopped before becoming a problem.
The broader benefits Confused.com’s gains from leveragingiovation cannot be quantified, or overlooked. With iovation’s help,Confused.com is protecting unsuspecting consumers from the risksof fraudulent policies: personal liability for damages in an accident,seizure of property by the police, loss of driving privileges, and finesfor hundreds of pounds.
Insurers across the country benefit, too. Every ghost broking policythat Confused.com blocks due to suspicious devices meansinsurers are: exposed to less liability on uninsured cases, paid thepremiums needed to continue operating, and able to focus theirfraud departments on other cases.