Instigation and investigation and desktop evaluation

We will now look at instigation and an investigative/desktop evaluation, the first two steps of the Fraud Investigation Model (FIM).

Instigation

Allegations of fraud can be instigated (brought about) in a number of ways: ​

  • By victims reporting their cases through Action Fraud​ (Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting agency)
  • By cases being analysed and sent by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB​)
  • By reports being received directly by the police (call for service)​
  • Through liaison with other law enforcement partners​
  • By observing the crime in action

Investigative/desktop evaluation

Once the report has been received, an initial evaluation should take place and the factors in the diagram below will need to be taken into consideration when conducting an initial investigation:

A circular diagram illustrating the eight factors to consider in investigation/desktop evaluation. 1 - Offence type and linked offences. 2 - Scale and geographical spread of victims. 3 - Vulnerability of victims/witnesses. 4 - Location of relevant material. 5 - Identification of suspects. 6 - Scale of criminal activity/level of loss. 7 - Identification of fraud enablers/partner agencies. 8 - Prevention and disruption opportunities. Click to expand

Partner agencies

Criminals who commit fraud are constantly adapting and evolving their tactics, which requires a vigorous and proactive approach to identifying emerging trends and communicating these to the public. ​

Other law enforcement or regulatory bodies often have different powers and skills that are better suited to the fraud type reported. A decision should be made as to which is the best agency or organisation(s) to take the investigation forward.

Here are some examples of partner agencies in the UK that will be of help:

Trading Standards DWP
Police forces Financial Conduct Authority
HMRC NHS Counter Fraud Authority
National Crime Agency Serious Fraud Office

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This article is from the free online course:

Fraud Investigation: Making a Difference

Coventry University