Scott Patterson, CFE
ACFE Senior Media Relations Specialist
This year’s International Fraud Awareness Week (Fraud Week) is November 16-22, 2014, and I’m excited to see that Official Supporters are already signing up and planning their activities to help raise awareness of fraud. While preventing and detecting fraud is a year-round endeavor, Fraud Week provides a unique chance for organizations to unite in bringing this global problem to the fore of the public consciousness.
Why is Fraud Week so important right now? According to our 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, organizations around the world lose an estimated 5 percent of their annual revenues to fraud. When applied to the 2013 Gross World Product, this translates to a staggering potential projected fraud loss of nearly $3.7 trillion.
Here are just a few other important facts that every business leader should know:
- A single instance of fraud can be devastating. The median loss per fraud case in the ACFE study was $145,000, and more than a fifth of cases involved losses of at least $1 million.
- The median duration — the amount of time from when a fraud commences until it is detected — for a fraud case is 18 months.
- Tips are consistently the most common fraud detection method. Organizations with hotlines in place detected frauds 50% more quickly, and experienced frauds that were 41% less costly, than organizations without hotlines.
- The smallest organizations tend to suffer disproportionately large losses. Additionally, the specific fraud risks faced by small businesses differ from those faced by larger organizations, with certain categories of fraud being much more prominent at small entities than at their larger counterparts.
The ACFE founded Fraud Week in 2000 to help shine a spotlight on the global problem. The grassroots campaign encourages organizations of all sizes and industries to host fraud awareness training for employees, conduct employee surveys to assess levels of fraud preparedness, post articles on company websites, newsletters and social media, and team with local news sources to promote fraud prevention and detection.
You can learn more about it at FraudWeek.com, and we hope while you’re there you sign up your organization as an Official Supporter (at no cost), and then check the site often, as we will be adding new resources (including a printable handout of fraud tips and a downloadable infographic) to help raise awareness. Currently, you will find white papers, PowerPoint presentations, podcasts, videos and other helpful items available for Official Supporters to access online.
It is great to have one week out of the year to put fraud prevention in the spotlight. Fraud Week is right around the corner. What do you have planned to help raise awareness?