Risk analysts propose 'digital lock' solution to EDD's fraud woes

The CEO of a cyber-security company has proposed a common banking solution to prevent more fraud in the EDD system.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney has aired more than 100 reports about the EDD. He has helped so many get their rightful benefits. Consumers have asked for his help, lawmakers have reached out to him and now the CEO of a well-known cyber security company wanted to talk with Finney, too.

Haywood Talcove is the CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Government Division. He has watched the California EDD stumble through the pandemic, and has a few things to get off his chest.

"I am so frustrated, we have talked about imposter fraud and government programs for over a decade," Haywood told Finney. "Can you imagine if JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo lost the kind of money the state of California lost?"

EXCLUSIVE: CA lawmaker says it's time to 'radically change' the EDD as benefit extensions delayed

He is frustrated that the EDD is sending out money to fraudsters and holding back money from legit claimants because they might be fraudsters.

Here is one of Talcove's major concerns: "What they need is what every bank is using, what every financial institution is using -- it's a digital lock. It's really simple, it takes advantage of the digital exhaust that we leave as consumers."

In other words, our computer footprints. He says it will take years to fix many of the EDD's computer issues, but not all of them.

"The great part is the identity piece is just a bolt-on," an easy fix, Talcove says. "It takes literally about four days to implement, costs a couple, $3 million and that's it. The fraudsters go away, right, they can't get through a digital lock, it's just not possible."

7 On Your Side asked him this question: "Now, your solution is for the state of California to hire you, right?"

He answered, "Well it's just not us, there's three companies in the space. All those companies make up virtually 100% of the market share in the identification space."

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Talcove says Equifax and Experian could do the job, too.

And he challenges the state to let his company find out just how bad of a mess the EDD has going.

"We're willing to grab 200,000 or 300,000 recipients and show them which ones are fraudulent. We're willing to do it today, right, because they have a problem," Talcove says.

7 On Your Side asked the EDD for an interview; it acknowledged the request, but nothing has been set up. 7 On Your Side will be talking with lawmakers to see if they would take up LexisNexis on its challenge and will report back.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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