Introducing the Fraud Investigation Model (FIM)

An effective tool for carrying out a fraud investigation is the Fraud Investigation Model (FIM).

This is a framework, or route map, that gives you as the investigator a structure to follow when responding to allegations of fraud. It was developed using data from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to determine the complexity and seriousness of fraud investigations.

The FIM is an alternative way of approaching the investigative process because it considers alternative outcomes and sanctions from the very beginning. At the same time, if a criminal investigation is to be pursued, investigators will be able to use it to build a case that provides the greatest chance of success and reflects the seriousness of the offences under investigation.​

One of the most important points about the FIM is that, while it has steps to follow, it is a continuous cycle and will, therefore, need to be followed continually. Throughout the FIM, you will need to ask how can we look after the victim and prevent the crime from happening again.

You can see the Fraud Investigation Model in full below and it can be downloaded from the downloads section at the foot of the page.

The fraud investigation model starts with instigation and continues as follows: Instigation/Desktop evaluation, then Investigation, then Enforcement options, then Suspect management, then Evidence evaluation, then Result/Conclusion and Operational Learning. At the Instigation/Desktop evaluation stage the model can go to Disruption and then Prevention or Eng Game Establish Game Parameters leading to Partner Agencies and Note for Intelligence. Partner agencies can also go back to Investigation. Investigation also leads to M_A_P Material, Assets, People and then to Victim Management. The following steps require investigating steps or strategies: Investigation, Enforcement Options, Suspect Management, Disruption, End Game Establish Parameters, Partner Agencies, Victim Management. The following are decision points: Instigation, Instigation/ Desktop Evaluation, Evidence Evaluation and Further Investigation. Finally, the following are outcomes that can be achieved: Prevention, Note for Intelligence, M_A_P Material Assets People, Result /Conclusion and Operational Learning Click to enlarge

What are the benefits of the FIM?

  • It restricts the success and duration of fraud by discouraging the criminal from expanding into new fraud ventures​
  • It encourages the disruption of fraudulent activities and working across different agencies (multi-agency working) ​
  • It focuses on prevention in order to stop further loss and harm​
  • It provides a logical approach to countering fraud, with a significant focus on supporting the victim
  • It provides earlier enforcement opportunities​
  • It reduces the period of harm and financial loss to the victims
  • It provides time and resource savings to the police service during data gathering and initial investigation

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This video is from the free online course:

Fraud Investigation: Making a Difference

Coventry University