Tackling high-harm fraud with data, intelligence, and collaboration

What are the latest vulnerabilities fraudsters are targeting? How are they using AI? And what is the impact of legislation like the Economic Crime Transparency Act?  

Our latest webinar saw a multi-disciplined panel of counter fraud experts gather to capture the current state of high-harm fraud, and how we can better detect and prevent the crime perpetrated by increasingly sophisticated borderless organised criminal groups.   

Chaired by Ian Dyson QPM, former City of London Police Commissioner and Distinguished Fellow at Royal United Service Institute (RUSI), the panel included:   

  • Nick Sharp, Deputy Director, National Economic Crime Centre, National Crime Agency 
  • Julie Barnes, Assistant Director – South, The Insolvency Service 
  • Helena Wood, Director of Public Policy and Strategic Engagement, Cifas 
  • Ben Cooper, Partner, Economic Crime Compliance, TLT LLP 
  • Matt Horne, Director of Intelligence and Investigations, Clue Software

Now available to rewatch again below, in this article, we share some key insights from the webinar. 

The evolving and complex nature of fraud

Fraud is increasingly complex, with Nick citing that over 80% of incidents now have an online element and 70% an overseas connection.   

While two-factor authentication has curbed some forms of fraud, high-impact scams like romance fraud are on the rise, causing profound financial and emotional harm. Identity theft persists as a major concern for businesses, while grappling with escalating losses from email compromises. 

Devastating individuals lives and businesses, proceeds increasingly funding organised criminal groups operating internationally.  

These groups are coordinated, using dark web platforms to network and refine their tactics, such as exploiting upcoming reimbursement schemes to exploit lapses in consumer vigilance, while manipulating economic downturn to enlist a wider demographic of individuals for as mules for money laundering efforts: “it’s not just students and young people acting naively.” 

These groups are coordinated, using dark web platforms to network and refine their tactics, such as exploiting upcoming reimbursement schemes to exploit lapses in consumer vigilance. 

The adoption of generative AI remains troubling in the creation of more convincing scams. “We’re only spotting bad generative AI. I’m sure there’s quite a lot of good generative AI being used that we’re just not spotting,” Helena noted.   

Greater data sharing and collaboration

A recurring theme was the necessity for enhanced data sharing and collaboration between law enforcement, government, and the financial sector. Helena emphasised, “Volume prevention requires getting data to the front line, so banks can take proactive measures.”

Initiatives like the Cifas National Fraud Database facilitate cross-industry information sharing, yet leveraging data analytics capabilities remains underutilised. Overcoming GDPR concerns is crucial; secure data sharing and privacy-preserving technologies are solutions.

To tackle fraud effectively, public-private partnerships are vital. Embedding personnel and joint task forces could enhance coordination while upskilling partners. International cooperation is crucial as fraud becomes increasingly cross-border.

“We’re in this together,” said Nick, emphasising the need for collaborative efforts and technological integration across sectors: “Only by working across sectors can we effectively combat fraud.” 

Prevention through education and tech

Preventative measures were underscored as critical; “We’ve always been talking about success in terms of prosecutions and arrests,” said Helena, “even if every police officer focused solely on fraud, it wouldn’t be enough…” 

Public education, robust authentication methods, and partnerships with tech firms to fortify systems were identified as crucial steps forward.

“The most common type of victim is a very savvy, online person who would consider themselves safe, and actually that’s who fraudsters are really targeting,” said Helena. 

“Helping consumers with a clear and consistent message on how to prevent fraud and report is massively important,” agreed Nick.

Continued collaboration with and innovation by the financial sector will be crucial in early intervention: “The more you know your customer, the more you can spot suspicious transactions,” said Ben.

However, measuring the effectiveness of fraud prevention remains a challenge for counter fraud teams, particularly when the focus is on deterring fraud before it occurs. 

Impact of counter fraud legislation

The significant impact of legislation like the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act (ECTA) was a key discussion point.  

The Act introduces new offences, including the failure to prevent fraud, making companies responsible for fraud committed by employees or third parties and soon requiring all organisations to review fraud risks and controls. 

ECTA also strengthens regulations for verifying director identities and striking off shell companies. Julie Barnes noted, “The Insolvency Service is working closely with Companies House to enforce these new laws.” 

There are indications that the UK government wants to expand liability to technology companies under similar failure to prevent offences for fraud occurring on their platforms, further increasing corporate accountability. 

Conclusion

The webinar reinforced that while the fraud landscape is dynamic and multifaceted, a holistic approach involving technology, collaboration, and proactive prevention is essential.

As Ben put it, “It’s an arms race, but they are always one step ahead. We need a joined-up approach across industry, financial services, and law enforcement to level the playing field.” 

Learn more about using Clue for fraud detection and prevention. Schedule a consultation with our Director Intelligence & Investigations, Matt Horne.

In law enforcement and investigative procedures, the meticulous disclosure process is a cornerstone for upholding justice and ensuring fair trials.  

Disclosure, the sharing of information between investigative bodies and prosecution teams, plays a pivotal role in maintaining transparency and safeguarding the integrity of legal proceedings. However, navigating the complexities of disclosure can often present challenges for disclosure officers and investigations professionals, potentially leading to inefficiencies and even jeopardising the outcome of cases.  

In this article, we delve into the significance of disclosure in investigations and explore how Clue intelligence, investigations and case management (IICM) software transforms the disclosure process, addressing critical pain points and enhancing efficiency.

The importance of disclosure

Before delving into how Clue aids in case classification and disclosure, it’s imperative to understand why disclosure holds such paramount importance in investigative proceedings. At its core, disclosure serves as a mechanism for ensuring fairness and transparency in the criminal justice system. By sharing all relevant evidence and information with the defence, the prosecution ensures that defendants can access the material needed to mount an effective defence.  

Moreover, disclosure upholds the principle of equality of arms, whereby both the prosecution and defence are placed on an equal footing, thus fostering a fair trial environment. 

Challenges faced by disclosure officers and investigations professionals

Despite its significance, the process of disclosure is not without its challenges. Disclosure officers and investigations professionals often grapple with a myriad of pain points that can impede the efficiency and accuracy of the disclosure process. From navigating cumbersome disclosure exercises to securely storing sensitive information, challenges abound. Moreover, the risk of incomplete or inaccurate disclosure looms large, potentially leading to serious consequences such as the dismissal of cases or, worse yet, miscarriages of justice. 

Challenges in disclosure within investigations and intelligence operations are significant and multifaceted. They include: 

Manual processes: Traditional, manual methods of disclosure consume considerable time and resources, slowing down the process of case-building and disclosure tasks. 

Data overload: Investigations often involve large volumes of data from various sources, leading to complexity and inefficiency in sorting through, analysing and disclosing information. 

Risk of incomplete disclosure: Incomplete disclosure practices can lead to the failure of cases, potentially resulting in serious consequences such as the dismissal of cases or miscarriages of justice. 

Management complexity: Investigators are often faced with managing numerous case materials, adding to the complexity of the disclosure process and potentially leading to oversight or errors. 

Accuracy and completeness: Ensuring the accuracy and completeness of disclosed information adds pressure on both investigators and disclosure officers, as any inaccuracies can have significant repercussions. 

Addressing these challenges requires the implementation of streamlined processes, leveraging technology for efficient data management and analysis, and ensuring rigorous oversight to maintain the accuracy and completeness of disclosed information.

How Clue transforms the disclosure process 

Clue streamlines the disclosure process and alleviates the burdens faced by disclosure officers and investigations professionals. With its array of features tailored specifically for the needs of investigative teams, Clue offers a comprehensive solution to the challenges of disclosure. 

Structured material and evidence organisation

Clue enhances productivity during disclosure exercises by structuring material and evidence in a manner that ensures all relevant information is identified for disclosure. Case classification is enhanced with the capability to add descriptions, relevance and exhibit references.  

Additionally, investigations professionals can integrate other information sources from Clue, including notes and linked records from other investigations. By centralising all information within the platform, Clue facilitates easy access and sharing across investigation teams, thereby minimising the risk of oversight or omission. 

Automated creation of disclosure schedules

No longer does time need to be spent on the laborious manual creation of disclosure schedules. With Clue, the process is automated, saving valuable time and resources while ensuring accuracy and completeness.  

Exhibits, witnesses and other items can be dynamically ordered and grouped for better organisation. By generating disclosure schedules with ease, Clue empowers disclosure officers to focus their efforts on more critical tasks. 

Enhanced review and verification

Clue simplifies the process of reviewing disclosure exercises, allowing investigators to easily verify classifications and view files directly within the platform. This enhanced visibility and accessibility streamline the review process, ensuring that all necessary disclosures are accurately identified and documented. 

Seamless sharing of information

One of the key features of Clue is its integration with Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Two-Way Interface (TWIF), enabling seamless sharing of information between investigators and prosecution teams. This integration eliminates the need for manual transfer of data, streamlining the process and ensuring that all relevant parties have access to the necessary information. 

Secure storage and protection of information

Security is paramount when it comes to sensitive investigative material. Clue’s robust data structure ensures that information is protected and secure, mitigating the risk of missing or compromised files. With Clue, disclosure officers can take confidence that sensitive information is safeguarded against unauthorised access or tampering. 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, the importance of disclosure in investigations cannot be overstated. As the linchpin of transparency and fairness in the criminal justice system, disclosure plays a crucial role in upholding the principles of justice and ensuring a level playing field for all parties involved.  

By streamlining and enhancing disclosure, Clue empowers investigative teams to overcome common challenges and complexities in the process, paving the way for more efficient, accurate, and ultimately just outcomes in legal proceedings. With Clue at their disposal, disclosure officers and investigations professionals can navigate the intricacies of disclosure with confidence, knowing that they have a powerful tool at their fingertips to support their endeavours. 

Would you like to discuss how Clue can enhance your approach to intelligence, investigations and case management?Book a consultation with our experts today.    

We are excited to announce the launch of Joining the Dots, a compelling new podcast offering real-world insights from individuals dedicated to pursuing justice, reducing harm, and enhancing global security. 

Published by Clue Software, a leading provider of intelligence and investigation management solutions, Joining the Dots features Clue’s co-founder and technologist, Thomas Drohan, engaging in thought-provoking conversations with a diverse array of guests, all united by their commitment to creating a safer society. 

“At Clue, I have been privileged to work with organisations and individuals who are addressing some of the world’s most pervasive issues, from child abuse and human trafficking to organised crime and fraud,” said Thomas Drohan.  

“In Joining the Dots, I connect with those deeply involved in these fields – the victims, perpetrators, investigators, leaders, technologists, and academics – who tirelessly strive to make our world safer.” 

Launching on Thursday, June 27, Joining the Dots will be available on its official website and across all major podcast platforms. The inaugural series promises exclusive insights and captivating stories from notable guests, including: 

  • Peter Spindler, safeguarding expert and former Metropolitan Police Commander, who led the Jimmy Saville inquiry, ‘Operation Yewtree’. 
  • Alex Wood, a reformed fraudster, sharing how his prison experience honed his skills to exploit tens of millions of pounds from vulnerable businesses. 
  • Sarah Lewis OBE OLY, former Olympian and pioneer in sports governance. 
  • Jayne Cowell, a national security and insider threat specialist.

The podcast will also delve into the experiences of Clue’s own experts, including: 

  • Matt Horne, former Deputy Director of Investigations at the National Crime Agency. 
  • Phil Suddick, a former police covert operations specialist and sports integrity investigator.

Joining the Dots is for anyone passionate about justice, criminal justice, harm reduction, and making the world safer,” said Thomas. “Our goal is to spark stimulating conversations and shed light on emerging trends and challenges in these critical areas.” 

Discover more and subscribe to Joining the Dots on the official podcast page here

Welcome to Clue Software’s Team Spotlight, where we showcase the exceptional individuals behind our leading intelligence and investigation management software.

Today, we talk to Implementation Consultant, Tom Brook.

 

Hi Tom, tell us a bit about your background.

Before Clue I was a technical trainer and in earlier days a 999 call handler at Surrey Police. This gave me a vast insight into the threats that face the public and communities in which we live. Prior to my policing career I worked within software with a key interest and focus on customers and their journey. 

 

What does your role at Clue entail? How does it benefit our customers?

As an Implementation Consultant, I collaborate with our customers to meet their needs and serve as a trusted advisor. I also drive successful customer onboarding and adoption, ensuring that they get the most value out of our software solutions. I am passionate about creating and working towards a more diverse, equal, and inclusive future, and until use my previous experience as a Technical Trainer at Surrey Police in both my current role as an IC and within my keen interest in Inclusion. 

 

What inspired you to pursue the career you have today? 

Many years ago, I pursued a career in the performing arts and trained professionally until I had to leave due to injury. I guess you could say I fell into it. I have always had a keen interest on technology coupled with a passion for people. So, the software industry became my career. Following redundancy during Covid, I turned my hand at helping others by becoming a 999 operator and working on protecting the public of surrey from harm. This is why I was keen to act when I came across my role at Clue. Clue has a key mission to protect society from harm which meant I was able to reunite 2 enjoyable aspects. 

 

What motivates you about working at Clue?  

I think the initial excitement came when seeing the impact Clue has within society as a trusted partner to such a vast array of organisations. The thing that keeps me ticking day to day has to be the people and the passion, the drive to help others and society.  

 

What’s your secret talent no one knows about?  

I may have given that one away but yes, many years ago I did train in the performing arts realm which is experience that will stay with me. 

 

Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.  

Most people see a very talkative (sometimes too much) and outgoing Tom, but I love the outdoors have a keen interest in property renovation and landscaping.  

 

In terms of successes, which accomplishments are you most proud of? 

I have climbed Mt Snowdon, scaled a couple of different routes up the side of Mt Tiede in Tenerife and have several proud moments working as a 999 call handler and helping positively impact members of the public.  

 

If you’re interested in joining Tom and the team at Clue, head over to our careers page to view current vacancies.