In this world of virtual communications and interaction, how do you ever really know who you’re talking to? You don’t, and therein lies a world of opportunity for con artists, scamsters, grifters and deadbeats. Indeed, identity fraud is the crime of the new millennium, says Ross Silverman, chairman of the antifraud counselling litigation department of Katten Muchin Zavis in Chicago.

One tool that can help uncover the crooks is InfoGlide Corp.’s Fraud Investigator software, which peers behind seemingly innocuous data to detect suspicious patterns that may indicate a person is posing under several different names or making up Social Insurance numbers, says Jay Valentine, CEO of the Austin, Tex.-based company.

“It identifies instances of fraud that escape traditional exact-match searches,” Valentine says.

The XML Similarity Engine that powers Fraud Investigator discovers links between different data files and databases by making sure that slight variations in names, addresses, phone numbers or other identifying data won’t be excluded from a search’s end results. The engine then converts the data into a hierarchical format and compares it to likely matches, ranking it with user-defined attributes.

Fraud Investigator costs between US$5,000 and US$35,000 per month, depending on exact capabilities and usage. For more information, visit

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