A fraud specialist sits at his computer, pondering the next move in his current investigation. Advanced analytics tools can provide the insight investigators need to work smarter and catch criminals faster.
Fraud, theft and misuse of government services could cost the UK public sector more than £40 billion per year. BDO  has also found that the total value of fraud in Scotland has increased by 76%. It was £54 million in 2019, up from £30.4m in the previous year.
The average value of fraud in Scotland last year was £1.4m, below the national average of £3.6m. Notable cases of fraud in Scotland include a ‘Ponzi scheme’ that defrauded investors of funds worth £12.8m and a case investigated by HMRC and Scottish Police involving a £12m VAT and money laundering scam.
Almost every government department across Scotland is at risk from this ever-growing problem – something that is likely to increase Audit Scotlandstates  The Covid-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges across the Scottish public sector as bodies seek to deliver services for individuals, communities and businesses in an extremely difficult time.
Fraudsters’ tactics are constantly evolving and becoming ever more sophisticated. Monitoring systems can help identify suspicious activity, but how can we move from reactive measures to proactive prevention?
It’s likely that criminals are not just committing more frauds—they’re getting away with them too.
The key problem is that investigating fraud and other criminal activity is extremely time-consuming and resource intensive. While government initiatives such as the Counter Fraud Function are helping to standardise investigation techniques and improve training, there’s still simply too much data for investigators to analyse.
What’s needed is a smarter approach, using powerful tools and technologies to analyse all types of intelligence information, pinpoint patterns of behaviour, map out networks of activity, and identify the relationships between the entities involved.
A recent report from SAS Institute explains how adopting an end-to-end intelligence and investigations management solution can help government departments:
- Increase investigation efficiencyby enabling fast, accurate collaboration based on the most up-to-date information
- Better utilise investigators’ expertiseby eliminating manual tasks such as data entry and freeing up time for on-the-ground investigations
- Improve intelligenceby breaking down information silos and creating a positive feedback loop to improve the quality of future investigations