NetMap built its name fighting fraud for law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world. Today, private and government investigators in Australia, USA, UK and Europe consistently use NetMap tools to assist them filtering through large amounts of data.
Network Mapping techniques have been utilised across a whole spectrum of criminal cases, having identified a murder/drug ring in the Netherlands, reduced drug trafficking along the Mexican border, helped US insurance giants uncover organised fraud rings and tracked down terrorists and their supporters.
Recently Australian investigators have also discovered significant time and efficiency advantages by using DetectR. This newly developed system is used extensively by retailers in monitoring levels of fraud specifically around the cash registers. At the other end of the scale NetMap was used with great success in Australia’s highest profile criminal case – the “Backpacker Murders”.
What exactly does DetectR do? It breaks down data to its simplest form and then it “maps” that data to find common nodes and visualises the links to other nodes that would otherwise be physically impossible to find. In the graphic above you are seeing 189 nodes and what they are in turn linked to, how else could these links be found in millions of data items?
An example, in the Backpacker Murder case, NetMap analysed car registration numbers that linked names, gun registrations and club membership records to progressively narrow down an extensive list of suspects to a list of 32.
But the most important factor is to provide access in one location to all the data available during the course of the investigation. This enhances the efficiency level of the investigation team allowing them to use not only the software tool DetectR, but most importantly their intuition and subject knowledge to create investigative pathways to validate leads and test their theories and uncover new lines of enquiry. What addresses are linked to these phone numbers? What names are linked to specific gangs or religious groups? Who else do they deal with? Who’s the boss? Which companies are they involved with? How do they get their funding? These are all typical questions that, when answered, lead to a new list of questions. Using DetectR to run monthly monitoring programs can provide a valuable insight to activity levels at different times of the year, this may indicate that a drug cartel communicates with growers during certain months (the growing season) of the year, then distributors after that and finally dealers at street level.
With most analytical software products you need to phrase an exact question or search query i.e. you need to know from the outset what you are seeking, this is a “prescribed” search. NetMap does not have this limitation. Instead it displays patterns, using Nodes and Links to uncover common occurrences and interesting associations that are buried in your data and displays them in visual context. This visualisation assists the investigator to think laterally thereby unravelling complex relationships and pinpointing previously invisible connections. This is classed as an “intuitive” search.
Many fraud detection procedures rely on spot checks and random samples. NetMap allows you to map each and every financial transaction throughout the course of the year. Irregularities are immediately pinpointed. Some will have valid explanations or indicate training or procedural errors. Others may reveal potential breaches of protocols that could be costly. Either way, you are now armed with the knowledge and can take action. Put simply, NetMap allows you to audit your data using the world’s most powerful tools very day not once a year. Ignorance is no defence in today’s corporate environment.
Your best investigators do not want to be trapped at desks trawling through rows and columns of spreadsheets. It is a waste of their time and their skills. NetMap does the trawling instead and keeps them out in the field, doing what they do best. The processing is Cloud Based and as such the analysis can be displayed anywhere there is an internet connection on a laptop or IPad.
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