Guidance

National Fraud Initiative: private sector services

Find out about the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) services available for private and voluntary sector organisations.

The NFI offers a number of different services that are available to all types of private sector organisations.

Read case studies showing how NFI has helped other organisations.

Services by organisation type

All organisations can benefit from NFI’s payroll screening and creditors screening. You may also be interested in our bespoke screening service.

Pension schemes

The NFI has undertaken data matching for private sector pension schemes since 2001. The 2014/15 exercise identified over 3,500 deceased pensioners, amounting to fraud and overpayments of £85 million.

Our mortality screening service can identify where they may be making payments to deceased pensioners or where deferred pensioners have died. It uses advanced data matching techniques which can replace the time and expense of sending life certification forms, and can identify deaths of UK citizens abroad as well as deaths in the UK.

Banks and financial institutions

The NFI can provide data screening services to help your organisation address financial fraud risks. All new applications for credit can be checked on a real time basis. NFI can also match secured and/or unsecured loans data to identify applicants that have no right to stay and, if applicable, no right to work in the UK. This means you can quickly authenticate the immigration status of the applicant and prevent fraudulent applications being approved.

The NFI can also carry out retrospective checks of your existing customer data on a batch basis.

Voluntary sector

It is important for the voluntary sector that the money you have goes towards the charitable aims of your organisation. NFI can help protect against fraud in this area by offering payroll screening and creditor screening services.

Payroll screening

Employers have a legal responsibility to check that they do not employ illegal workers. Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, you could be liable for a fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker.

Taking part in the NFI helps address this risk of employing someone with no entitlement to work in the UK. Publicising your participation should act as a strong deterrent against fraudulent employment applications and employee identity fraud. The NFI can help you identify:

  • illegal workers – your payroll data will be matched to Home Office immigration data to identify employees who potentially have no right to work in the UK
  • employees committing benefit fraud – NFI can match your payroll data to local benefits data to identify employees who are potentially committing benefit fraud and may therefore also pose a serious fraud risk to your organisation
  • employees working elsewhere – your payroll data will be matched to other organisations taking part in NFI to identify individuals who are claiming sick pay from your organisation while working elsewhere

Mortality screening

Pension schemes continue to pay out significant amounts to deceased pensioners each year. The mortality screening service identifies deceased pensioners to help you prevent and recover these overpayments.

Matching to DWP’s deceased records is available every 6 months, with data submissions in June and November. Please contact the NFI team at nfiqueries@cabinetoffice.gov.uk for further information.

This matches data against both the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) deceased records and the Disclosure of Death Registration Information (DDRI) deceased persons’ records. The DWP holds details of the deaths of all UK citizens, including some of those who have died overseas. The DDRI is a list of deaths provided by the General Register Office of England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. View an example of how the service can be used.

Previously NFI offered mortality screening every 2 years but in response to demand, we can now offer:

  • 6-monthly screening against DWP’s deceased data
  • screening on a monthly or ad hoc basis with DDRI

Real time application screening

By matching data at the point of application, the NFI identifies anomalies that may indicate fraud before any payments are made. Real time application screening is designed to prevent fraud against financial institutions where an applicant has falsely declared they have a right to reside and/or work in the UK.

NFI matches secured and/or unsecured loans applications data with information about applicants who have no right to stay and, if applicable, no right to work in the UK. This allows companies to check the immigration status of the applicant quickly and prevent fraudulent applications being approved. All new applications for credit can be checked on a real time basis. Retrospective checks of your existing customer data can also be matched on a batch basis.

Housing tenant screening

The NFI identifies tenancy fraud at housing associations and/or other social housing providers as well as housing benefit fraud. In previous exercises, this has led to tenancies being terminated and properties re-allocated to genuine applicants on the housing waiting list who might otherwise have stayed in expensive temporary accommodation.

Housing tenant screening can:

  • identify individuals who potentially have more than one property in their name
  • highlight individuals with no right to reside in the UK
  • ensure that tenants are only resident at one address, and aren’t claiming housing benefit for a different property
  • make sure that right-to-buy claimants qualify for the scheme

Creditors screening

The NFI can use creditor screening to identify:

  • potential VAT overpayments on individual invoices – you may then be able to recover the overpayments
  • duplicate payments – where you may have paid for the same goods or services more than once
  • duplicate creditors – where you may have creditors set up more than once on your system, leading to inefficiency and duplicate payments
  • instances where an employee and creditor are linked by the same bank account or the same address – this can identify employees who potentially have interests in companies your organisation is trading with

Aside from the financial benefits of creditor screening, data matching can also help you strengthen your internal control arrangements, by highlighting system weaknesses or common errors within your creditor data.

Bespoke services

Our data matching powers allow us to undertake any data matching for the purpose of preventing or detecting fraud. We appreciate that organisations hold a number of different data sets and we are happy to discuss any bespoke data matching you feel may address a particular fraud risk to your organisation. This could involve matching data you hold to data that NFI already collects or to other data that we may be able to secure on your behalf.

We can offer workshops to organisations to demonstrate how NFI works and to explore how we can help your organisation address specific fraud risks through data screening.

Please contact us for information or to request a workshop.

How to get involved

To discuss your requirements or sign up to take part please contact the NFI team.

Review the data you need to submit for NFI and ensure that you can extract it from your systems. You can also view fees for the services listed in this guide.

Published 20 March 2015
Last updated 16 June 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated morality screening document.
  2. Update to Mortality screening dates
  3. First published.