We've developed not one but two revolutionary fraud detection tools to support agencies currently combatting the rising levels of rental fraud.
One of the two technologies - a document analysis tool - enables letting agents to effectively screen a renter by processing documentation that is analysed at an even deeper level compared to existing screening technologies. Through this new solution, we can detect fraud by spotting inconsistencies and nuances in the document’s typography and font styles, with fonts dissimilar to those used by banks flagging that the document has been tampered with.
The second product innovation, dubbed ‘Heimdall’ – named after the mythological Norse god who keeps watch of invaders – has been developed to leverage our proprietary fraud data to develop an alert for the rental screening process. By scanning a variety of different data points, Heimdall can determine an applicant’s legitimacy and recognises when a fraudster is committing rental fraud multiple times through various agencies.
By adding these two new innovations to our proposition agencies and landlords can ensure tenants are being fairly screened so that legitimate, reliable renters are approved.
Commenting on the technology, our CEO and founder, Alexander Siedes, said: “It is no secret that the rental sector is a fast-moving and challenging landscape for agencies to manage today – couple this trend with an unprecedented volume of rental fraud – and it makes for a difficult space for both agencies and landlords to navigate.
“Through our new document analysis tool and Heimdall, we are able to elevate our referencing technology with something created specifically to tackle today’s fraud challenges, an area that we have been dedicated to address to ensure our clients only approve the best, legitimate tenants. Additionally, our new document analysis tool ensures no documents that can be forged get past us, so our clients can benefit from the most robust solution they need to tackle increasing volumes of fraud.”
Over the last 12-18 months the UK rental sector has experienced seismic shifts, some of which have had an impact, directly and indirectly, on the rising levels of rental fraud. More recently, we've has witnessed this trend first-hand, having detected a 100% increase in rental fraud during Q4 2021 compared to the quarter prior.
This upward trend is being exacerbated by the growing sophistication in fraud which continues to evolve - not only are fraudsters doctoring identification and application documents, but we've also seen an increase in fraudsters using false websites, payslips and other digital materials to enhance their rental application.
These latest innovations have been developed entirely using our proprietary fraud data. Initially, Heimdall was borne out of a pet project during late 2021 as an experiment to see whether the proptech’s extensive fraud data could be harnessed further. Now, both technological evolutions form part of our primary fraud detection technology for letting agencies to leverage moving forward.
We plan to increase the power of Heimdall in the near future by harnessing even more internal data points to ensure a wider range of information can be analysed to detect fraud. As part of this development, our team plans to apply machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to turbo-charge our fraud detection capabilities.