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Counter Fraud Teams Must Prioritise Prevention Against UK ‘Crime of Choice’ Finds Clue

Fraud now accounts for 40% of crime in the UK, according to the Police Foundation. Costing public services, businesses, and individuals hundreds of billions of pounds per year, proactive counter fraud operations are vital in making the new ‘crime of choice’ less viable for criminals.

Following a survey of government and public sector counter fraud professionals, investigation case management and intelligence platform Clue has launched a new report exploring how counter fraud teams are responding to record levels of fraud in 2022 driven by rapid digitalisation amid the pandemic.

Featuring a foreword by the former Commissioner of City of London Police, Ian Dyson QPM, the report entitled Counter Fraud 2022: Navigating the Path to Prevention explores key challenges faced this year by respondents, who included British Council, The Charity Commission, Financial Conduct Authority, National Food Crime Unit, NHS Counter Fraud Authority alongside additional government agencies and police forces who chose not to be named.

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Key findings from the research revealed the growing demands placed on counter fraud teams across organisations:

  • 75% are facing increased demand as volume of fraud rises.
  • 80% are overwhelmed by the volumes of data now available.
  • 75% are struggling to secure investment in resources.
  • 85% are concerned early warning signs are missed.
  • 70% see the potential to partially automate their activity.

In the face of these challenges, the report reveals how pockets of best practice are emerging that are enabling counter fraud teams to move from reactive approaches to proactive intervention, underpinned by strategic investments in technology. Preventative action is regarded as the most effective way to deter interest in criminal activity estimated to cost the UK government alone up to £52 billion per year.

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Thomas Drohan, Chief Commercial Officer of Clue, said: “Risk of fraud has accelerated following the pandemic, affecting more organisations than ever at much greater levels. The cost of standing still is too great – we need an urgent change of tack to grow awareness around this threat and to make it less viable. Prevention must become the top priority.

“Facing such a challenge, huge industry confidence should be taken from the progress being made by the brilliant counter fraud teams in our survey who are embracing proactive strategies with limited resources.”

Ian Dyson QPM, former Commissioner of City of London Police, said: “Organisations across the public and private sectors must understand that without investment and a preventative focus, the scale of the fraud issue will continue to grow exponentially.

“The importance of empowering and continually developing counter fraud functions cannot be underestimated. These departments are vital and will become increasingly important in protecting their organisations and the public from significant financial harm.”

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