Thomson Reuters Uses Pondera in New Anti-Fraud Tool

The new software combines a huge database for verifying identity with AI-powered tools meant to comb them, looking for fraud and irregularities. And it's found an early user in California, which was at the center of a massive unemployment insurance fraud scheme last year.

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About a year after acquiring Pondera Solutions, Thomson Reuters is using the company’s technology in a new solution meant to help government prevent abuse of unemployment insurance and other public benefits.

The new solution, called ID Risk Analytics, is a mashup of Pondera’s AI-powered software and Thomson Reuters' CLEAR tool. CLEAR brings in both public and proprietary data — including names, addresses, social security numbers, corporate filing information, etc. — which Pondera then analyzes for potential fraud or irregularities.

The solution is already in use in California, and currently analyzes about 30 percent of unemployment claims in the U.S., according to a press release.

California has found itself at the epicenter of the unemployment fraud discussion during the pandemic. While every state found itself facing an incredibly steep increase in UI claims as the economy shut down last year, and many of them had to contend with fraudsters infiltrating the system, California faced a particularly huge problem. Using the names of prisoners, fraudsters managed to claim more than $800 million from the state.


According to news reports, the state rekindled its use of Pondera in response to the rash of fraudulent claims.

The state has used Pondera’s technology to prevent $60 billion worth of fraudulent claims, the company wrote in the statement.

“States are faced with enormous pressure and historic levels of unemployment, and while they’re trying their best to reduce fraud, they are struggling with limited resources and antiquated technology and are often defeated by criminals,” said Jon Coss, Thomson Reuters' vice president of risk, fraud and compliance. “ID Risk Analytics is allowing state agencies to capture anomalies and detect fraud before it is paid out in taxpayer dollars.”

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.