International fraud awareness week – shining a spotlight on an urgent problem

From November 6-12, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) encourages companies of all sizes to participate in International Fraud Awareness Week. With an estimated five percent of revenue lost to fraud each year, the ACFE asks that organizations “proactively take steps to minimize the impact of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education.”

To help support the effort, the ACFE has provided a “starter” pack to help organizations think differently about fraud and the impact on their bottom line.

The starter pack includes a fraud prevention check-up to help companies test whether they have the appropriate internal controls in place to combat fraud, a profile of a fraudster and the red flags to look out for, and a paper that addresses the role of the board of directors in preventing fraud. The resources are free and can help set your organization on the path to combating both internal and external fraud.

Based on the information shared in the ACFE’s Report to the Nations, the profile of a fraudster is a follows:

  • More than half of all cases in the study were committed by individuals between the ages of 31 and 45
  • Fraud offenders were most likely to be found in one of six departments:

Accounting (22%)

Operations (18%)

Sales (13.5%)

Executive/upper management (13.5%)

Customer service (7.2%)

Purchasing (6.2%)

  •  The median loss was $160,000
  • The frauds lasted a median of 18 months before being detected
  • The most common behavioral red flags displayed by perpetrators:

Living beyond one’s means (43 percent of cases)

Experiencing financial difficulties (36 percent of cases)

  • Frauds committed by owners/executives were more than three times as costly as frauds committed by managers, and more than nine times as costly as employee frauds. They also took much longer to detect.

By promoting fraud awareness and prevention and providing free resources, the ACFE is leading the charge in tackling a pervasive problem that is estimated to cost companies around the globe $2.9 trillion a year. Whether your company has a fully integrated fraud program in place, or it is just beginning the process, the ACFE is an invaluable resource in the fight against fraud.

Need a writer that understands fraud? When you hire me to write an article, blog post, newsletter or white paper you get an accomplished writer that is also an expert in fraud.


About Paul McCormack
I have over 20 years of experience in corporate fraud and intellectual theft prevention, detection and investigation. Unlike many fraud experts, I have both industry and professional services experience. To date, I have conducted over 800 interrogations of fraud suspects including numerous senior corporate executives. As a freelance writer, I have written over 1,000 articles on a broad range of topics. My areas of expertise include: • Asset Misappropriation • Big Data • Bribery, Corruption, and Collusion • Check, Wire, ACH, and Credit Card Fraud • Consumer Fraud • Corporate Security • Cybersecurity • Data privacy (Europe, Brazil, Russia, India, and China) • Drug Trafficking • Embezzlement • Employee Fraud • Executive Protection • Fintech • Financial Statement Fraud • FCPA • Healthcare fraud • Identity Theft • Intellectual Property Theft • Internal Audit • Interrogation Tactics • Loss Prevention • Mobile Fraud • Money Laundering • Operational Excellence • Organized Crime • Payments Fraud • PCI Compliance • Retail Fraud • Risk Management • Terrorism and Counterterrorism • UK Bribery Act • Workplace Violence

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