Invited Comment on Bolton and Hand’s “Statistical Fraud Detection”

  • Richard Bolton
  • David Hand
  • Foster Provost (Commentary)

Fraud is increasing dramatically with the expansion of modern technology and the global superhighways of communication, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars worldwide each year.  Although prevention technologies are the best way to reduce fraud, fraudsters are adaptive and, given time, will usually find ways to circumvent such measures.  Methodologies for the detection of fraud are essential if we are to catch fraudsters once fraud prevention has failed.  Statistics and machine learning provide effective technologies for fraud detection and have been applied successfully to detect activities such as money laundering, e-commerce credit card fraud, telecommunications fraud and computer intrusion, to name but a few.  We describe the tools available for statistical fraud detection and the areas in which fraud detection technologies are most used.  Key words and phrases:  Fraud detection, fraud prevention, statistics, machine learning, money laundering, computer intrusion, e-commerce, credit cards, telecommunications.