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UK anti-fraud firms pool resources

3rd Man takes Early Warning to the checkout

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Surrey-based anti-fraud firm the 3rd Man Group has bought merchant-focused anti-fraud firm Early Warning as part of a plan to offer a more comprehensive service to tackle internet fraudsters. Terms of the deal, announced Thursday, were undisclosed.

By adding Early Warning's CardAware database to the 3rd Man's SuperSearch system, which enables retailers to share information on high risk transactions, the combined firm hopes to provide online traders with the UK's single most powerful fraud protection service.

Established in Bognor Regis by internet fraud victim Andrew Goodwill in 2002, Early Warning runs a service that allows online merchants to share data on actual or attempted internet scams. Goodwill started Early Warning after being dismayed by the number of fraudulent scams targeting the small online reseller business, ukcomputerparts.com, he ran at the time.

The system was originally offered to retailers free of charge, with a yearly subscription fee launched in February 2003.

The 3rd Man provides fraud screening services to 18,000 retailers who, according to the firm, collectively save more than £10m per month. It also operates SuperSearch – a national Card Not Present Fraud file that allows retailers to exchange data on high risk transactions suspected to be fraudulent. Clients of the service include JJB Sports, Woolworths, Ticketmaster, Halfords, Argos and others. ®

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