Team Spotlight: Ste Holmes
Credit Hire Aware 8
In a new feature, we ask a member of the credit hire team to step up to the hotspot and answer a variety of questions from their most interesting case to their favourite film.
In this issue it’s Ste Holmes, Intelligence Analyst for pre-litigation credit hire fraud.
Ste, how long have you been with Keoghs?
I started working for Keoghs as a DPA Assistant in the Intel Team in August 2011. After three months in the team I was promoted to Intelligence Analyst.
What is your role within the team?
As an Intelligence Analyst my primary role is to assist the handling of credit hire claims by way of conducting investigations into the companies and parties to the claims at every stage of a credit hire fraud matter. My regular responsibilities consist of screening fraud referrals against the Keoghs Intelligence Database, preparing company validations and profiles, carrying out bespoke investigations at the request of the fee earners, being involved with intel calls with clients and responding to requests for information from clients in relation to credit hire organisations. Over the last twelve months my role has also included being a part of the successful integration of the Keoghs Advanced Data Analytics (ADA) program across the credit hire unit. This program is now screening credit hire claims on a daily basis to identify the high risk claims in terms of credit hire fraud.
How does working in credit hire differ from other areas?
Whilst the search tools and investigations don’t differ greatly, the interpretation of those results can contrast with the more common areas of fraud. As an example; investigations on a typical fraud file may look at the claimant’s claims history to consider similar fact evidence and claims over a number of years. In the case of a credit hire fraud matter we are likely to focus more on the claims history of the claimant shortly before and after the index accident and during the hire period to assess what vehicles they utilised during that period. In a credit hire fraud matter we rely on early indicators, such as the hire company, to assess the risk of fraud on a particular claim. We then conduct further investigations to assess the claim and identify the concerns and act accordingly.
What’s the most interesting case you’ve dealt with recently?
We recently handled a case in pre-litigation credit hire fraud which demonstrates our use of indicators to retain the correct files within the team before following up with further investigations to identify the fraud.
The claim was transferred to the team due to the involvement of a CHO with whom we had previously had concerns. After carrying out investigations we identified that the claimant had been involved in an accident in the same vehicle the day before the index accident. We used a DPA request to obtain details of the claim from the relevant insurer who confirmed that the two accidents were separate but involved the same claimant and vehicle. They provided copies of the hire, recovery and storage documents for their accident which showed that the claimant had presented duplicate claims for hire, recovery and storage as well as the pre-accident valuation for the third party vehicle. As soon as we saw that the claimant had been involved in two accidents in two days in the same vehicle we knew that we needed to investigate further. Eventually the claim was repudiated in full and the intelligence gained was shared across the business and with our clients to help identify any future claims with similar concerns.
Are you seeing any new trends in credit hire fraud?
We are consistently seeing more referrals featuring new to market hire companies and companies which have not previously been seen by the team. These companies are often repairing garages providing credit hire services. As my role is to prepare validation reports and profile each company, I am spending an increasing amount of time carrying out searches against new companies and assessing Keoghs’ exposure to these companies across the business. Over the last few months approximately half of the claims retained with credit hire fraud have featured new hire companies, and whilst they aren’t all fraudulent organisations, we still fully validate the claims to identify any emerging issues and trends.
And finally, a personal question! Favourite film and why?
It’s hard to choose just one, but I’ve always been a fan of Jurassic Park - a film I loved when I was younger and still enjoy now. I’m also a fan of most superhero movies!