Fraud Detection

Laundering, VAT fraud, False invoices, Hidden financing

Detection of document fraud

Our client, a French ministry, wanted to improve the effectiveness of controls over the allocation of administrative documents.

The size of the database (nearly one hundred million records) and the variety of applications allowing the entry of information - most often manual entry - severely limited the effectiveness of fraud detection.

Solution provided by Tale of Data

Reconciliation of the postal addresses of recipients of administrative documents with the French National Address Database made it possible to obtain reliable and standardized addresses.

Multi-criteria (name + first name + address) and multi-strategy (phonetic, Levenshtein distance, N-gram, etc.) deduplication to spot people who have obtained several versions of administrative documents that are supposed to be unique.

Cross-reference using fuzzy joins, with other databases of the ministry on the name and first name (phonetic + N-gram) as well as on the date of birth (with a tolerance of a few days), in order to identify the people who requested several administrative documents that are supposed to be non-cumulative.


The ministry was able to identify people (sometimes up to several hundred in the same county) who had several versions of the same administrative document allowing them to avoid sanctions. The phenomenon had gone unnoticed until then because of a few approximations in the spelling of the name, in the address (eg: street number mentioning the neighboring building) or in the date of birth (1 to 2 days apart). Aggravating factor: obtaining such documents was impossible without internal complicity within the ministry.

Standardized postal addresses have made it possible, by simple grouping and counting, to spot suspicious addresses used to request a number of administrative documents largely exceeding the number of inhabitants at the specified address (factor of 10 or even 100).

The cross-referencing of several databases has brought to light many cases of prohibited accumulation of administrative documents.

Other scenarios are possible, do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your business cases.