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No reports are dismissed by a computer system. All reports submitted to Action Fraud are processed through an automated triage system that is designed to ensure that resources are targeted at those cases that have the most viable lines of enquiry. An automated process is required due to the large number of cases received (approximately 42,000 per month) to provide an efficient and effective response.
Crime reports to Action Fraud are assessed and triaged through the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) data analytics system which identifies links between seemingly unconnected fraud and cyber crime incidents from all over the country. Having received a report, the first phase of the crime assessment is automated using a computer based algorithm which scores the report’s suitability to be investigated against a number of criteria. This triaging ensures a consistent national approach to the assessment of fraud and cyber crime reports and effective targeting of resources. Some of these criteria include the victim’s vulnerability, whether the identity of the offender is known, if there is evidence available to support this (e.g. a confirmed bank account money has been paid to), or the volume of reports made about a specific offender.
Reports with the highest viability scoring are then referred for further action by a crime reviewer. The crime reviewers will then undertake further work to identify whether there are sufficient lines of enquiry for the matter to be disseminated to law enforcement. Where opportunities for further action are identified, these crimes are referred to a local police force or other partner agency.
During the financial year 2017/2018 there were a total 294,984 reports. Of these reports 113,488 were both system and crime reviewer assessed, the remainder (181,496) were assessed solely by the automated system.
During the financial year 2016/2017 there were a total 280,706 reports. Of these reports 128,564 were both system and crime reviewer assessed, the remainder (152,142) were assessed solely by the automated system.
During the financial year 2015/2016 there were a total 234,201 reports. Of these reports 117,179 were both system and crime reviewer assessed, the remainder (117,022) were assessed solely by the automated system.