Law enforcement agencies are increasingly turning to innovative technologies in the fight against fraud. Simon Price, VP Sales, OpenText Legal Tech, tells us how the UK’s Serious Fraud Office is utilising OpenText solutions to investigate and prosecute cases efficiently in an age of data explosion.
The latest figures from UK Finance revealed that the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit dismantled 13 organised crime groups in the first half of 2019 – twice the number taken down in the same period last year. This reflects a growing trend as more criminals exploit new technologies to commit fraud.
Consequently, law enforcement agencies are also turning to innovative technology to combat this rising threat. New technologies are an essential tool for organisations to keep up with the increase in fraud cases, enabling them to deliver justice sooner while managing cost.
In particular, advances in AI offer investigators the ability to quickly review and analyse vast amounts of information to provide timely and meaningful insights – ensuring that more criminals can be held to account more quickly for fraud and other economic crime.
Tackling fraud in an age of data explosion
In late 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority published its first financial crime report. Drawing on 2017 data from more than 2,000 financial firms, it found that organisations handled 923,000 reports from their staff related to suspected money laundering and refused to provide services to 1.15 million prospective customers for reasons related to financial crime.
This provides some idea of the scale of both fraud today and the huge amounts of data which organisations must sift through when compiling evidence for fraud cases. Human employees can no longer review every single document. This data explosion is one key factor in the increasingly important role of emerging technologies in fraud prosecution.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) leads the UK’s fight against serious and complex fraud, bribery and corruption, and is implementing digital technology to investigate these financial crimes. Its investigations cross international borders and involve huge volumes of information.
As a result, teams are required to review large amounts of data, varying from documents and emails to instant messages – all of which need analysing to determine whether criminal activity has taken place. In its 2018 to 2019 Annual Report and Accounts, the SFO highlighted that nearly 95% of its evidence is digital today, requiring the department to continue improving its use of technology to increase the pace of its investigations.
Expediting fraud investigation
The amount of data handled by the SFO’s digital forensics team quadrupled between 2017 and 2018, and is only increasing as company data continues to grow. Faced with this huge volume of material, the SFO deployed OpenText Axcelerate – an AI-driven eDiscovery and investigations platform – to help the department work faster and more effectively prosecute economic crime.
This next-generation investigations platform automates document review to save caseworkers time so they can better focus on the key elements of their investigations. It simplifies the document review process by quickly surfacing the documents that are most relevant to the case, categorising and analysing data through a combination of advanced analytics features and built-in proprietary Machine Learning algorithms. Moreover, predictive filtering capabilities enable users to hone in on searches quickly – offering AI assistance to suggest hidden search queries leading to potentially relevant information.
With OpenText Axcelerate, employees can process potential evidence more quickly with a lower error rate, all at a reduced cost. While human employees can review a few hundred documents in a single day, OpenText technology can increase that number to over 100,000 documents per day, allowing employees to work smarter and faster.
Reviewing data more quickly is key to holding those involved in economic crime to account. The SFO’s Digital Forensics Unit investigates extremely complex and data-heavy cases – processing millions of documents. With some large cases involving over 50 million documents to review, AI is vital. OpenText’s eDiscovery platform simplifies the document review process – recognising patterns, grouping information by subject, organising timelines and removing duplicates.
The SFO recognises the role technology plays in enabling its staff to investigate and prosecute cases efficiently in an age of data explosion. By tapping into the latest digital technology, the SFO is revolutionising fraud investigation. Yet advances in AI technology have the ability to forever change the way digital forensics and fraud investigations operate across other organisations – effecting a definitive change in the fight against fraud.