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Monday, November 4, 2013

How aware of fraud threats are you?

International Fraud Awareness Week kicked off Sun., Nov. 3, 2013, with an emphasis on fighting fraud the old-fashioned way: with facts and awareness. Sponsored by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and embraced by more than 900 organizations worldwide, the aim is to emphasize that fraud is a global problem that can be mitigated by anti-fraud awareness and prevention.

"Organizations of all sizes and types are susceptible to fraud, and it can have a measurable impact on their bottom line," said James D. Ratley, ACFE President and Chief Executive Officer. "While prevention and detection is a year-round endeavor, Fraud Week shines a spotlight on fraud – and supporters of the campaign demonstrate their understanding that spreading awareness is key to combating the global fraud threat."

This week, ACFE's efforts to spread awareness include encouraging enterprises of all sizes to do the following:

  • Host fraud awareness training for employees
  • Conduct employee surveys to assess levels of fraud preparedness within organizations
  • Post articles about fraud prevention on company websites, newsletters and social media
  • Team with local news organizations to highlight the high costs of fraud and how to prevent breaches

Occupational fraud, which is fraud committed by employees, is a particular emphasis this year. The ACFE's 2012 Report on the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse revealed that:

  • The median loss caused by occupational fraud cases in the ACFE study was $140,000. More than one-fifth of the cases involved losses of at least $1 million.
  • The incidents of fraud in the study lasted a median of 18 months before being detected.
  • Though there are some differences from one region to the next, most of the trends in fraud schemes, perpetrator characteristics and anti-fraud controls are similar regardless of global location.
  • Small businesses are especially vulnerable to occupational fraud because they typically lack the anti-fraud controls used by their larger counterparts.
  • Occupational fraud is more likely to be detected by a tip than by any other means, so fostering awareness to keep the workforce informed is essential.

For more information on fraud prevention and awareness, visit www.fraudweek.com . The 2012 Report on the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse is available at www.acfe.com/rttn . end of article

Editor's Note:

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