Graydon UK has launched a fraud busting service for resellers to help them counter the prospect of rising fraud attacks in the recession.
As its title suggests, the IT Reseller Intelligence Network will share information with resellers on suspected and perpetrated frauds and send alerts to those that sign up to the service at a cost of £500 per year.
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The credit reference agency has operated a similar scheme with distributors in the past but Mark Ancell, head of intelligence at Graydon UK said the reseller channel was now at greater risk.
"Distributors have wised up to fraud over the last few years and credit managers have learnt the tricks of the trade and been able to avoid getting caught out," he told Microscope.
"The fraudsters have moved onto the reseller community because they are seen as a relatively easy touch... we will see a massive rise in attempted frauds in the channel and there could be substantial losses," Ancell warned.
According to its own figures, Graydon reported 110 instances of attempted fraud in the channel during the third quarter.
In the first half of 2008, KPMG's Forensic Fraud Barometer, revealed 128 fraud cases reached court with losses totalling £630m, a 49% increase compared to the same period a year earlier.
Backing Graydon's service, Nick Tiltman, credit director at C2000, agreed distributors had solid checks in place to detect attempted frauds because they had been the main target historically.
"Fraudsters are moving onto resellers, if cash is getting tighter in the general economy people are looking for extra ways to make it," he said, adding that if resellers lost money there was an impact on distribution.
It was about time resellers took an interest in fraud said Eddie Pacey, European director of credit services at Bell Microproducts, "the channel needs to work together to avoid fraud".
Martin Hellawell, managing director at Softcat, said the price of membership could be seen as a little expensive but "if the quality of information is good then it has got to be worth it."
"We have been stung in the past and given what is happening in the economy, fraud attempts probably will go up, so anything that helps us prevent them has got to be worth it," he added.