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GB Group teams up with Blackberry for anti-fraud task

LONDON – Data specialist GB Group has adapted its address management software to work with a hand-held Blackberry palm device, giving organisations such as train companies and airlines a tool to help combat identity fraud.

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GB Group has adapted its URU authentication software tool, which was developed with BT, to work with the Blackberry so that companies have the ability to confirm the identity of passengers or individuals on the hand-held system.

Blackberry's, identified as one of 2004's 'must have' items after David Beckham was pictured with one, allow users to surf the internet and check emails from anywhere in the world.

URU-enabled Blackberry users will be able to access a database of passport-based information to confirm the validity of passenger's documents.

Users will have access to GB's National Authentication database, which contains over ten years of UK population data, including individual names, addresses, telephone data and passport validation information.

URU also allows people to check whether the person whose identity they are checking still exists by accessing data on the deceased. One of the most popular forms of identity fraud is for criminals to assume the identity of someone who has died. Identity fraud costs the UK over £1.3bn a year, according to the Cabinet Office.

Richard Law, GB Group chief executive, said: "Fare dodging is one crime which can easily be tackled by conductors armed with URU on a Blackberry, but this development also makes identity checking far more feasible at airports or even on board aircraft."

URU was developed by GB Group and BT and is primarily used by the financial services industry to confirm identities and protect against money laundering. GB recently announced that it had struck a deal with Callcredit plc to use its credit referencing data as part of the URU package.

GB Group's clients include HM Customs & Excise, National Criminal

Intelligence Service, Cheshire Police, National Crime Squad and London Underground.

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