Where do fraudsters come from? What do they want with your business? What holes have they located in your defenses? All valid questions every successful online business will have to ask at some point or another.
The answers may lie within the data delivered by fraud investigation software. Let’s see what you’ll get and which companies do it best.
List of Fraud Investigation Software
- SEON: Prevent All Kinds of Fraud
- SaS: The Analytics Specialists
- Actico: Investigate AML and Compliance
- TruValidate: The iGaming Go-To
- Feedzai: AI-Powered Risk Management
- i-Sight: Case Management Powerhouse
- Hunchly: Evidence Collection for Pros
- Nethone: In-Depth Device Profiling
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What Is Fraud Investigation Software?
Fraud investigation software is designed to help you understand how fraud happens so you can prevent it. In most cases, it will help you extract more data about users so you can make more informed decisions.
The kind of data you can aggregate varies from one fraud investigation software to the next. You can, for example, try out what a digital footprint analysis might tell you using the search field below.
Simply enter someone’s email address, phone number or IP address to get a wealth of useful data points about them.
However, one thing that most of these tools will let you do is create risk rules. These rules help calculate a score, so you can gauge how risky a user’s action is.
Fraud investigation software also tends to include powerful reporting features so that you may pore over the data, as well as ways to automate what happens to each user depending on their score.
Fraud Investigation Examples
Fraud investigations can take many forms depending on the company and the types of fraud it faces. However, there are a few common questions these investigators aim to answer:
- Is the person really who they say they are?
- What kind of transactions turn into chargeback requests?
- Am I dealing with one person using multiple accounts?
- How can I protect user accounts from malicious logins?
Some companies will also look for very specific fraud challenges related to their sector or location. For instance, an iGaming operator may attempt to learn the answers to questions such as:
- Is my customer laundering money?
- Are they using multiple accounts to gain an unfair advantage?
- Are they using botnets to cheat at online games?
Features to Look for in Fraud Investigation Software
The kind of tools that help answer the questions above vary, but you will generally find the following features:
- Data collection: The first step is to capture and analyze user data.
- Data enrichment: This process helps you get a wealth of reliable information, starting with very little.
- Labeling: Fraud investigation software should let you mark fraudulent cases and non-fraudulent ones, both for reference and to train machine learning modules, if any.
- Risk rules: The next step is to create rules based on your fraud data. For instance, an extremely simplified rule would be VPN users = fraudsters.
- Risk alerts: The system will run on autopilot and notify you when a risky action occurs.
- AI and ML suggestions: Some fraud investigation software will go the extra mile in helping you deploy better risk rules. AI and machine-learning algorithms are surprisingly adept at identifying patterns in your data to suggest relevant rules.
Then, of course, there are all the features to consider when making any business decisions, such as pricing, type of contract, integration time, etc.
Top 8 Fraud Investigation Software
Fraud investigation software tends to be designed for specific fraud types in mind. We’ve tried to cover the best in various categories.
Disclaimer: Everything in this article was gleaned from research, including user reviews. We did not have time to manually test all the tools. This guide was last updated in Q3 2022. Please contact us to request any changes or corrections.
SEON – Prevent All Kinds of Fraud
Fraudsters are adaptive. They don’t care what kind of business model you operate under, as long as they can exploit it. SEON was designed to answer that problem. The key idea? To offer multipurpose, modular tools that can adapt to your fraud risk.
In terms of investigative power, you’ll benefit from data enrichment – the best way to learn as much as possible about users, with as little information as possible.
Put simply, it’s the equivalent of an OSINT tool that aggregates extra data based on single data points. A simple email address, phone number or IP address can yield hundreds of data points for you to learn more about people and transactions.
The biggest bonus of using SEON is that it’s suitable for every industry, from neobanks to iGaming companies, and from online stores to BNPL businesses. The platform is highly customizable and granular, and also offers machine learning.
- Flexible and powerful: You could reduce fraud rates by up to 99%, whether it’s ID fraud, account takeovers, or chargebacks.
- Unique reverse digital footprint lookup: SEON is one of the very few fraud investigation software on this list that lets you learn about users’ social media and online profiles.
- Flexible and transparent pricing: You get a free demo, the ability to try it yourself, and cancel-anytime 14-day trials.
- No on-site integration: If you want your fraud investigation software to live on-premise, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
- Free 14-day trial. Paid plans start at $299 per month.
Choose SEON If:
- You put people first and don’t want to weigh down the experience of customers or even your staff.
SAS – The Analytics Specialists
As a full analytics investigation platform, SAS is in a good position to help with fraud prevention. It’s exactly what the company’s Detection and Investigation product offers, making use of embedded artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The idea is simple: The software consolidates enormous amounts of data from both external and proprietary sources and creates a hybrid analytic approach to predict fraud, link cases, and enable reporting for investigators.
A key advantage of SAS is its social network diagram feature, which will help you visualize where fraud lies in your business so you can investigate it better.
- Multi-purpose: You can use SAS for fraud prevention but also generic data analytics and statistical models.
- Powerful data science tools: The more technically-minded fraud managers will get to play with clustering regression, natural language processing, and more.
- Social network analysis: Not to be confused with reverse social media lookup, this is a feature that lets you visualize connections between data points.
- Dated UI: SAS is a powerful tool but not the best-looking software, unfortunately.
- Pricey: As far as investigation tools go, SAS appears to be at the pricier end of the spectrum.
- You won’t find a clear answer on the website, but online users report packages starting at $6K per year, going up to $64K per year depending on the features you need.
Choose SAS If:
- You want the convenience of visualizations and appreciate a hybrid approach.
Actico – Investigate AML and Compliance
If the kind of fraud investigations you undertake have to do with compliance, Actico is a strong contender. The “digital decisioning platform” favored by companies such as Santander, Volkswagen Financial Services, and ING is a one-stop shop for AML, KYC, and KYT (know your transactions).
In short, it’s a complete compliance suite, which includes tools for PEP and sanction lists investigations.
Actico should give you all the tools to investigate users in the context of anti-money laundering regulations, and you can also use real-time transaction monitoring to avoid compliance fines.
- Compliance investigation tools: Learn more about your users and transactions to avoid KYC and AML fines.
- Traditional FI experience: Renowned financial institutions trust Actico, so you’re in good hands with their fraud investigation tools.
- Dated UI: It’s a legacy product, and it shows. The user experience could be more modern.
- Not ideal for all verticals: You’ll get excellent tools for financial products and institutions. Online stores and iGaming companies, among others, should probably look elsewhere.
- It’s only available upon request.
Choose Actico If:
- You have AML and KYC compliance needs to cover, in addition to concerns of fraud.
TruValidate – The iGaming Go-To
The iGaming world is so unique that it requires very specific tools to investigate its fraudulent schemes, which include poker chip dumping, collusive play, and of course bots and multi-accounting users.
The good news is that TruValidate, formerly known as iovation and TransUnion, has decades of experience providing anti-fraud tools for iGaming companies such as online casinos and poker rooms.
The core products include an authentication suite, which features document and biometric verification. In short, it’s giving you everything you’ll ever need to answer the question, “are these players really who they say they are?”
We should note that since the 2018 acquisition of TruValidate by TransUnion, the product has expanded to cater to many more sectors than just iGaming, and is thus considered a key player in fraud prevention.
- iGaming specialists: The company keeps rebranding, but the fundamentals remain the same: many years of experience as the anti-fraud tool of choice for iGaming companies.
- Full KYC and authentication tools: This includes document verification (IDV) and biometrics authentication.
- Reliance on proprietary databases: Using shared blacklists has its advantages, but it’s possible to manipulate them, and you may miss the latest fraud attacks.
- Lengthy onboarding: It will start with a handful of sales calls and then eventually a demo. But you’ll have to sign up for a lengthy contract before you can test TruValidate with your own business data.
- Only available via a sales call.
Choose TruValidate If:
- You’re looking to combine fraud prevention and investigations with biometrics and IDV.
Feedzai – AI-Powered Risk Management
This vendor places its focus firmly on financial fraud for banking, fintech and payments processing, and boasts offices in 11 different cities around the world. Feedzai is all about data science and whitebox machine learning.
However, this does not mean ignoring humans altogether: On the contrary, the Feedzai promise is to provide real-time alerts and scoring, so that fraud analysts are better equipped to conduct their investigations.
It is perhaps telling that this company was founded, back in 2010, by an aerospace engineer, as it has championed advanced tech solutions from day one.
Twelve years later, 80% of the Fortune 500 companies around the world use its services, making Feedzai well known in the banking and payments field.
- Tier 1 bank experience: Feedzai is a solution of choice for illustrious banking institutions, including Lloyds and Santander.
- Visual link analysis: Offers “hyper-granular” customer profiles to empower human analysts to make better decisions and investigations.
- Tailored to enterprises: As it mainly caters to enterprises, it is not likely to be suitable for smaller companies, including fintechs – while cost remains a concern.
- No alternative data: In a world where your online identity is a clearer indication of who you are than your passport, Feedzai does not provide data enrichment or email analysis out of the box.
- Due to its size and target clientele, Feedzai’s pricing model has been described as rather complicated. This is not available online without speaking to someone from the team.
Choose Feedzai If:
- You want a data-based fraud platform with extensive logging and reporting.
i-Sight – Case Management Powerhouse
Canadian company i-Sight markets a dedicated case management platform well equipped to offer up a wealth of data to assist fraud investigations. And in fact, it has been around since 1999, making it the oldest solution on our list.
This vendor’s customers include household brands such as Hello Fresh, Electronic Arts, Johnson & Johnson, and Costco. It can help with HR issues, fraud, as well as forensic investigations. Beyond this, insurance fraud, corporate security, and compliance are also addressed.
i-Sight enables companies to have one point of reference for each case, for better, more thorough investigations, also allowing various stakeholders to collaborate seamlessly. From there, reports can be easily generated.
When used to catch and mitigate fraud, i-Sight is most useful in figuring out what went wrong in order to get a clearer view of gaps in policy, and implement new processes and even fraud rules to prevent it in the future.
- Highly specialized: As it caters to very specific use cases, i-Sight does these very well. However, it is does not tailor its investigations to fraud in particular.
- Quick and easy reporting: You can easily export detailed documentation with templates, for each case file.
- Internal investigations only: Though this brand is exceptional at managing cases and assisting investigations, it does so for corporate fraud instigated by your employees – or enabled by them.
- No data enrichment: This company has addressed the potential to gather extra data from OSINT sources in the past, yet this is underutilized in the current version of the software.
- Unfortunately, there is no pricing information available online – however, the company promises that the software “pays for itself in seven months”, according to the official website.
Choose i-Sight If:
- You often have several teams collaborating in each (internal) fraud investigation.
Hunchly – Evidence Collection for Pros
An increasing number of companies and individuals alike around the world have a vested interest in the results of online investigations using OSINT.
Hunchly is a browser extension built to assist with this by Canadian security consultant Justin Seitz, who is known for his anti-terrorism research and other open investigations – especially so on the dark web.
As its creator noted in an April 2016 article on Medium, the evidence collection tool was developed as the web is ever-changing and information is transient. When conducting manual investigations online, nobody should assume the resources, references and evidence they locate will remain in place for good.
Besides, a lot of very important information present online is not indexed by Google – be it because it’s on the dark web or simply because it’s private to some extent, such as a Facebook group.
So, Hunchly captures the entire session and lets the investigator keep what they need, be they from law enforcement, cybersecurity, fraud prevention, the media or investigating privately. This is extremely convenient for anyone whose research needs to be backed up by facts. Yet, it is not suitable for those who are looking for assistance with the research process itself.
- Built by insiders: One of the tools developed by an expert to optimize their own efforts, Hunchly is not about bells and whistles but about getting the job done reliably.
- Set-and-forget: Because Hunchly runs in the background, you can focus on the essence of your research instead of constantly pausing to capture evidence.
- Investigator wingman: To borrow the words of its creator, this tool looks to assist investigations rather than enable or automate them.
- Doesn’t scale: The research is still conducted manually and relies on the user’s expertise. Though it is excellent at capturing evidence, it will not signpost investigators to new sources nor enrich data.
- For a single user on as many devices as they like, Hunchly costs $129.99 annually. Conveniently, there is a 30-day free trial.
Choose Hunchly If:
- You want a no-frills, convenient way to keep good track of your fraud investigation journeys across the web.
Nethone – In-Depth Device Profiling
That “Know your user” (KYU) is a buzzword for Nethone is a clear indication of just how comprehensive this company’s fraud investigation software promises to be.
The company was founded in 2016 and is big on machine learning and user profiling, promising the type of automation that makes fraud investigations accessible to merchants and other non-experts. At the same time, its multiple APIs can be utilized by developers as they best see fit with the help of comprehensive documentation.
One way to describe Nethone’s solution is as an excellent device fingerprinting module with some convenient extras. The brand’s Profiler solution looks into a customer’s hardware and software configuration, as well as what they call “passive behavioral biometrics”. The results are fed into a clearbox machine learning algorithm, which comes up with comprehensible recommendations.
Lastly, it is good to note that the user interface is sleek and accessible, with customization options aplenty as well as visualizations to aid investigations – such as connection graphs mapping out links between different customer profiles.
- Whitebox ML: Unlike with some of its competitors, Nethone’s proprietary machine learning algorithms provide human-readable results, so that you can assess their validity independently or even tweak them.
- Quick deployment: The “light integration” promise is that the solution can be part of a risk stack in less than two weeks, with five quick steps. There is also a free 30-minute demo.
- Potentially slow results: A few reviewers of Nethone’s software have reported teething pains upon integration – which include taking a while to see results and being uncertain about which rules to implement.
- No digital footprinting: More and more fraud managers acknowledge our digital footprint as an accurate identifier of who we are, and there is no such functionality currently with Nethone.
- Unfortunately, Nethone is the type of provider that does not make its pricing available before you speak to the sales team.
Choose Nethone If:
- You want quick deployment in an in-depth device fingerprinting solution.
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Choosing the Best Fraud Investigation Tool
There are as many types of fraud as there are business models. The ideal course of action when choosing fraud investigation software is to find the one that gives the best features depending on your risk challenges.
At SEON, we’ve designed a fraud investigation tool we believe can help with any kind of fraud investigation. However, we hope this list offers a good primer on where else to look if you have very specific needs.
Fraud investigation software lets you learn more about how fraud happens at your company in order to prevent it. Typically, you will be extracting data about your users and transactions. The more data you have, the more you can spot patterns and connections.
Fraudsters attack different businesses differently. For instance, if you are in ecommerce, you should investigate chargeback and transaction fraud. If you are a challenger bank, you should look at ID fraud.
Fraud investigation begins by collecting data, both historical and in real-time. You then filter and label fraudulent cases and attempt to spot patterns. You can also use AI and machine learning to identify patterns specific to you.