Fight Fraud with Fuzzy Duplicate
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRC) recently faced criticism from Canada’s Auditor-General for having gaps in its citizenship program that led to a review of approximately 700 potential cases of citizenship fraud as of January this year. One issue involved 50 different citizenship applications that all listed the same address as their primary residence, a red flag for fraud.
Unfortunately, when processing large volumes of data, there are many opportunities for data to be entered into a system incorrectly or for the same information to be entered in multiple formats. Variations in how names, numbers, addresses and other types of information are entered into a database can complicate data analysis, making it difficult to detect errors and potential fraud—unless you have a tool that can reveal these issues to you.
CaseWare IDEA Data Analysis software offers just such a feature: Fuzzy Duplicate. Also called fuzzy matching, Fuzzy Duplicate reads data forward and backwards to return a percentage indicating the degree of similarity between the matches. You’re able to quickly identify multiple similar records in as many as three character fields, revealing data entry errors, multiple similar entries or even potential fraud. IDEA’s Fuzzy Duplicate tool is also advanced enough to detect abbreviations, spelling errors, and missing or added data.
For example, IDEA’s Fuzzy Duplicate tool would detect that “Superparty”, “Super-Party”, “Supreparty” and “Super Party Inc.” may all refer to the same company, and would indicate in the form of a percentage the degree of similarity between the matches.
In the IRC’s case, manually detecting the 50 citizenship applications that all listed the same address as their place of residence would have been extremely difficult given the large volumes of applications the organization handles. During a periodic audit, however, Fuzzy Duplicate could uncover the fuzzy matches across the addresses listed on these applications.
About Bob Cuthbertson:
Bob Cuthbertson brings a wealth of accounting, auditing and technology experience to his role as Chief Operating Officer at CaseWare Analytics. Prior to starting the analytics division of CaseWare in 2000, initially as CaseWare IDEA Inc., Mr. Cuthbertson was Vice President, Professional Services, of The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). Mr. Cuthbertson is also a CPA (Ontario) with a specialty in Information Technology (CITP), granted by AICPA, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University School of Business.
Connect: Bob Cuthbertson