Fraud during COVID-19 has been rife with a report showing that prosecutions of company directors jumped by 205 % according to law firm Mazars. However, not all corporations see fraud as a business issue, and ignoring it can result in legal action and reputational damage. 

Early identification of fraud is crucial not only to prevent long-term issues. Industries such as financial trading, can use statistical analysis to flag suspicious activity, tackling issues far more easily than SMEs who often lack the know-how and the technology to uncover fraud. Without adequate training, companies are at risk, including reputational damage. 

By analysing data and documentation, CEOs and business owners can better understand the nature of activities and even the perpetrators' reasoning. However, finding proof of fraudulent activity is often difficult. The clues may lie in emails and attachments, documents on file shares, text messages, recordings of phone calls or voicemails, and external sources such as social media and visits to forum sites. Fraud itself may only become apparent by comparing the claims people make against indications of real-world activity such as building access logs, records in business systems, or patterns of behaviour.

There are many different types of corporate fraud for businesses to be aware of including contractor fraud, quality control, employee misconduct, financial crimes - such as money laundering and market manipulation - and wage replacement program fraud.

Early detection can mitigate damage to a company's reputation and future success. Uncovering fraud is a game of connecting the dots. By conducting in-depth searches of data, keeping track of activity and by simply knowing the signs to look out for, heads of industry and small business owners alike, can prevent fraud from harming their company.

Corporations should always report fraud as soon as they are aware of it. The work of government and law enforcement agencies is integral to the prevention and detection of fraud, as well as gathering and securing evidence for any criminal justice process. This work however is often long and complex, especially in today's world of ever-growing quantities and variance of data types.

Our partnership with Police Scotland - as evidenced in their recent case study - provided them with collaborative, holistic, and technology driven approaches to processing and reviewing large quantities of digital material, and by putting that directly in the hands of the ‘investigators' for ‘at desk review', has dramatically reduced the amount of time cases are taking to be investigated. This time reduction is not only driving efficiencies and savings for the investigating agencies but is producing a speedier process for the victims and judicial processes alike.

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