It’s Fraud Week – and the Spotlight is On


Scott Patterson
ACFE Senior Public Relations Specialist

International Fraud Awareness Week is upon us. This is an exciting time for supporters of this grassroots movement, many of whom are hosting trainings, sharing anti-fraud information in newsletters and emails, and engaging social media to shine a spotlight on fraud.

As you know, the ACFE provides resources for individuals and organizations to help them in their fraud prevention and detection efforts during Fraud Week (and year-round). One of these resources is our bi-annual Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. This study is based on a survey of Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) and is loaded with stats on fraud loss, detection methods, behavioral red flags and other invaluable information. During Fraud Week, we thought it would be fitting to have a candid discussion with the authors of the Report in our monthly podcast, Fraud Talk.

The Report is co-authored by John Warren, J.D., CFE, the ACFE’s Vice President and General Counsel, and Andi McNeal, CFE, CPA, Research Director for the ACFE. They sat down with me to record the podcast, and they shared so much insight about the making of the Report that we decided to split the interview into two podcasts.

In the interview, John and Andi discuss the history of the Report, how the research is compiled, what interests them the most from the data, and – perhaps most importantly – some of the key takeaways from the study, both for anti-fraud professionals and business leaders in general. It’s really interesting to hear how this engrossing and oft-cited Report takes shape. I hope you enjoy hearing about it from John and Andi as much as I did.

While doing a little research for the interview, I discovered that Fraud Week debuted in 2000. Back then, it was a national event that was observed at the ACFE’s Annual Fraud Conference & Exhibition. Six years later, the movement went international, and now we have topped another benchmark with more than 700 Official Supporters registered to participate. From the emails we have received from these supporters, many of them are hosting internal trainings and also spreading the word about Fraud Week through both traditional and social media. You can follow Fraud Week on Twitter, and if you are posting about it yourself, please use the hashtag #FraudWeek.

Something else we are doing for Fraud Week this year: we’ve distributed a short survey to CFEs asking them about the impact of fraud during the holidays. What we want to know is: 1) does fraud increase during the holiday shopping season? 2) if yes, why – is it increased financial pressure, a lack of controls, or for other reasons? 3) What types of fraud are we most likely to see during the holidays?

We’ve been asked these questions ourselves, and it became apparent there really isn’t a study out there that addresses these issues. The results have been coming in, and we look forward to sharing them with you this week.

An educated workforce is one of the keys to reducing fraud and abuse all over the world. That’s why it is so reassuring to see so many organizations taking ownership in a movement such as this – being proactive in spreading awareness about the impact of fraud, and its warning signs. The ACFE would like to extend our thanks to all of you who are participating in Fraud Week this year.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a guest blog from LexisNexis' Director of Strategic Alliances, Larry Benson.