We Fight Fraud

Research into Fraud and Financial crime often examines data from banks, police reports, and other data-driven platforms. Whilst this can be useful in assessing the size and scale of the problem, all be it with the caveat that most financial crime goes unreported and undetected, it cannot tell us why, how, or the social circumstances that lead to financial crimes from occurring. That is why we do research differently. Our research engages with these difficult questions to show exactly how and why such financial crimes are occurring. We research all areas of financial and organised crime, from testing KYC and onboarding of digital banks, 

Our research has shown:

  • That digital KYC procedures are not as robust as we believe them to be, we opened 3 accounts without any valid proof of identity. 
  • There are significant links between illegal moneylending and the use of vulnerable people as money mules. 
  • That hybrid working poses distinct vulnerabilities that we were not ready to address during the emergence from Covid-19 lockdowns. 
  • How easy it is for criminals to commit fraud using stolen data and buy now pay later platforms. 

We Fight Fraud gathers knowledge about crime and the causes of crime and shares it with clients and the wider community. We work closely with our academic partners on new research and create our own innovative content based on the constantly evolving threats from criminals. We are often commissioned by external partners to conduct research with real-world impact, combining our ability to engage with people who will not normally talk to researchers or other outsiders, with how were able to bring an audience to the research outputs and make noise about the issues raised in impactful ways. 

WFF’s groundbreaking report on illegal moneylending during the emerging cost of living crisis, ‘As one door closes’, completed in partnership with Fair4all Finance, will be launched on 28th June 2023 at Westminster.

We spoke to 8 illegal lenders and 287 borrowers about their experiences of illegal lending in their community. The research reveals a subterranean world where knowledge among a group of citizens on where and how to access small sums of credit are commonplace. 

Few questions are asked of them on their ability to repay and borrowers are aware, in the main, that their lender is not operating legally. They are phlegmatic about this. It is a means to an end – to access cash. They face intimidation and threats to repay, but in many cases view this as an occupational hazard. The potential harms are significant. While we found that actual violence was rare, the pervasive threat of it was common.

To get access to the full report, please visit Fair4all Finace’s Website.

Fraud is now considered a threat to national security in the UK, yet the impact of fraud is a significant global issue. Capitalism, globalisation, and the increased data flows that have helped businesses to grow have had the unintended consequence also growing the dark economy of fraud and financial crime.

This whitepaper demonstrates how a retail fraudster currently operates in the UK. In a qualitative interview, the fraudster explains how he buys 20,000 -50,000 data profiles a week from online forums. The testing team at We Fight Fraud then tested, and documented, four distinct attack vectors used by retail fraudsters to show exactly how criminals are buying now, paying never





The Rapid Response to Fraud and Financial crime is a co-produced research initiative which selects an area pertinent to fraud and financial crime, performs a unique 72-hour test and reports the results within 30 days.
This Rapid Response examines the vulnerabilities associated with identity verification. The report details how the testing team at We Fight Fraud discovered the ways in which criminal elements are circumventing identity verification and fraud detection models to open bank accounts which can then be used for money laundering and terrorist financing.

Made possible with the support of

COVID-19 has had global implications for social life, including criminal behaviour.  This whitepaper introduces a study that utilises unique access within the criminal world to offer a qualitative understanding of the human behaviours, decision making, needs and pressures that have driven engagement in fraud and financial crime during the COVID-19 Pandemic.