Detecting Scam and Fraud

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It was a big story in the news yesterday, how Norwegian Air Shuttle was scammed by their Competitor Cimber Sterling.  Norwegian had put out super bargains in the Danish market to attract new customers. Cimber employees bought huge number of tickets in the name of Anders And (Danish version of Donald Duck), Alotto Fagina (Character from Austin Power movies) and Bjørn Kjos, the CEO of Norwegian.  The result was that Norwegian had a tremendous amount of no shows.

The question arises, could this be avoided?

The simple answer is yes, it is quite simple.  With an automated Data Quality Solution, this whole scam would have been stopped in the making. I don’t know the full extent of the Cimber Scam, but here are some of my assumptions based on what has come out in the media.  Here are some red flags that should have been raised:

Red flag 1. “Non Real Life Subjects”
Data Quality solutions are set up to find names people use to trick you it can be:

–          Cartoon Characters like Donald Duck, Batman and Superman

–          Film Characters like Alotta Fagina and Clark Kent

–          Random letters.  Aaaaa Bbbbb and Eeeeff Ghhhh

The DQ solution would have cleansed out these orders.

Red flag 2. Multiple use of same credit card.
It is said that a Cimber Sterling employee used the same credit card to book several hundred ticket over short period of time. This should have raised concerns in the fraud detection team, and be manually checked.

They should also cross check information.  Is it Natural that their CEO will use a Danish Credit Card to book his flights?

Red flag 3. Duplicate Check
DQ solutions run duplicate checks.  Unless Cimber employees have a very vivid imagination in inventing names, I am sure they must have used some names over again.   This should have been caught while ordering.

The Cimber Employees might have used a very common way of committing fraud.  Use variations and typos of the names.  Unless you have an error tolerant solution, it is difficult to catch these. In this post, I have explained how the name Christopher Quist can be written in almost 400 natural versions.

Red flag 4. Sanction List
I just mention this, because I am sure Norwegian has a system for this because of legal requirements.  In DQ solutions we also check according to the EU sanction list, to see that terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and other non wanted individuals cannot purchase from you.

It is normal that when you get an order to check all above red flags.  Most red flag warnings will be handled by an automated process.  When there are dubious entries, it will go to a operator that will handle this manually.

A Data Quality Solution is a cheap way to insure your company against such scams as encountered by Norwegian.  I think we will see more stories like this in the news, since most companies have not have focus on Data Quality.  I have written more about this post.

Most companies are not aware of the high cost of bad data quality, I hope this scam will help rise the awareness.

Here is my post from yesterday about the scam

Here is an article in Norwegian about the scam.

The scam continues. Here is another article in Norwegian

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5 Responses

  1. […] IngvaldsenWill Retailers succeed with e-Commerce because of Data Quality?About Omikron Data QualityDetecting Scam and FraudMaking the case of error tolerance in Customer Data QualityProduct Data Management is important for […]

  2. Seems like Norwegian is doing so good that other competitors are afraid of a little healthy competion! Go Norwegian 🙂

    • Yes, it is a very successful and fast growing company. Usually very competent 🙂 Cimber Sterling will not gain anything from this scam they have been running.

  3. […] Jan Erik Ingvaldsen is a colleague and good friend of mine. In a recent market competition scam cheap flight tickets from Norwegian Air Shuttle was booked by employees from competitor Chimber Air using all kinds of funny names. As usual Jan Erik not only has a nose for a good story but he is also able to propose the solutions as seen here in Detecting Scam and Fraud. […]

  4. […] the 5 Billion CO2 Quota fraud been avoided?Is Google paving the way for actual CRM/ERP Search?Detecting Scam and FraudSurvey shows BI Key Benefits are IntangibleDonald Duck tricked Norwegian Air […]

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