SmartSearch: Third of businesses believe they can spot fraud

Jake Carter

November 10, 2021

Almost a third (28%) of regulated firms in the UK claim that analysing hard copies of documents is the most reliable method for identifying fraud, according to SmartSearch, despite the fact that most falsified documents are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

The research also found 28% of respondents, who were from the financial services, legal and property sectors, were not aware of digital verification methods.

These statistics are particularly concerning as there has been a spike in fraudulent documents recently as criminals attempt to obscure their identity.

SmartSearch’s research found almost half (48%) of respondents had reported a rise in financial crime attempts in the past 12 months.

John Dobson, chief executive of SmartSearch, believes those relying on manual methods are leaving themselves dangerously exposed. He said: “Criminals are laundering millions of pounds in the UK and they are using the most sophisticated methods possible to attempt to deceive.

“Therefore, it’s imperative that regulated businesses use all the technology available to them to fight against the growing wave of fraud.

“It takes an expert to even know the signs to look for in a fraudulent document, and those that are involved in money laundering are using state-of-the-art technology to create incredibly realistic forgeries. Unfortunately, those we surveyed that believe they can spot a fake, are sadly mistaken.

“It is encouraging that the majority polled stated they would struggle to spot a forged document, however the gaps need to be plugged.

“Switching to electronic verification is the smart thing to do. When it comes to preventing money laundering, it is the only real defense.”

Sign up to our daily email