industry news Wednesday 07 Jun 2023 @ 12:06 Undertake adverse media checks for best practice sanctions screening and fraud prevention

The growth in online fraud, along with those sanctioned around the world – largely from Russia, but also those in positions of power in countries such as Iran and Myanmar - requires those in the public sector to take a best practice approach to fraud prevention and sanctions screening.

Sanctions lists, increasingly along with politically exposed person (PEP) and relatives & close associates (RCAs) data, are being used by public bodies for a more comprehensive sanctions screening process. 

PEPs are those who have been entrusted with a prominent public function, and are usually high-ranking politicians, civil servants or members of the judiciary. Whereas RCAs can be spouses, partners, children, parents, cousins, uncles, aunts and close friends of the PEP – individuals who may be susceptible to bribery, blackmail and corruption due to their relationship with somebody in a position of authority and influence.

However, it’s important for those serious about best practice sanctions screening and fraud prevention that they also undertake automated adverse media checks.

Why adverse media checks?

Automated adverse media screening enables those in the public sector to keep abreast of the latest news and alerts, in real-time, on any arrests or court cases, for example, against users of their services. They may be PEPs and RCAs, along with others who could have possible negative regulatory, financial, or reputational consequences to their organisation.

Checking for negative news on an individual or business, even if they may not appear on any international watchlist, is essential to attain the most accurate risk profile of those using your services in an age of increasing fraud. Importantly, such an approach supports best practice due diligence for know your citizen (KYC), know your business (KYB) – possible suppliers and partners – and anti-money laundering (AML).

Screening global news media is essential

When undertaking adverse media checks scanning the credible global news media for maximum reach, such as newspapers, magazines, TV, social media, radio, and press releases is key. Only then can signs of money laundering, financial fraud, drug trafficking, financial threats or organised crime, terrorism, cybercrime, violent or sexual crimes, and appearances on past or present sanctions lists worldwide be identified and acted on.

What next if negative news?

Those users of your services who feature negatively in the media should be ranked as high risk, with further due diligence required, which may lead to the end of the relationship. Also, adverse media screening shouldn’t only be undertaken to monitor existing users, but for best practice due diligence at the user onboarding stage.

Full service SaaS eIDV verification

Adverse media checks play a vital role as part of a wider identity verification process. For best practice sanctions screening and fraud prevention public bodies should access a software-as-a-service (SaaS) electronic identity verification (eIDV) tool. These are able to deliver a full ID verification offering that combines global sanctions data with PEP, RCA data and adverse media checks. Furthermore, being SaaS, this scalable easy to deploy platform has the ability to support cross-checks against an individual’s contact data in real-time as they complete an online application process or checkout, while ensuring the user experience isn’t compromised. It does this by matching the name, address, date of birth, email, or phone number against reputable global streams, such as government agency, credit agency and utility records, along with mortality screening, to effectively confirm the ID of an individual. Additionally, the platform should highlight any inaccuracies in the data, such as a typo in the address, which can be easily corrected.

Why SaaS?

The ability to access SaaS tools instantly through the internet is set to revolutionise how ID verification and sanctions checks take place. The speed, accessibility, flexibility, efficiencies and cost benefits provided by SaaS are game changing. Those in the public sector can plug in and benefit immediately.

In summary

Automated adverse media checks are essential to deliver best practice due diligence, prevent costly fraud and protect brand reputation, as part of any sanctions screening, wider ID verification and counter fraud efforts. For best practice, adverse media checks should be accessed using a full service easy to use SaaS eIDV platform.

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