Financial Crime - Have you engaged in crime prevention and awareness this month?

During the month of March, Crime Stoppers focuses on financial crime awareness and prevention. Likewise, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) shares a similar mission all year long to reduce the incidence of fraud and financial crimes by promoting fraud detection and deterrence.

Did you know?
Did you know that financial crimes, also referred to as white collar crimes, can take many different forms? A financial crime is committed by or against an individual or corporation and results in a monetary loss. The most common forms of financial crimes are tax fraud, money laundering, credit card fraud, identity theft and organizational fraud. Organizational fraud includes the theft of company assets, manipulation of company financial statements and corruption. Fraud costs organizations worldwide an estimated 5 percent of their annual revenues, according to a study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). The ACFE’s 2016 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse analyzed 2,410 occupational fraud cases that caused a total loss of more than $6.3 billion.

How can you get Involved?
The first step in fighting fraud is raising awareness that it is a serious problem that requires a proactive approach toward preventing it. Here are a few things you can do to get involved:
•    Start a conversation: Get involved today, by engaging a neighbor, friend, colleague and/or family member in a conversation about fraud awareness and prevention tips. Additionally, if you have been or are currently a victim of a financial crime, share your story.
•    Report suspicious activity: The most common method of detection regarding crimes are tips. Based on the ACFE’s 2016 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, about 39 percent of fraud is discovered by anonymous tips. Identify the correct channels to report tips in your organization and our community.
•    Safeguard your assets: A few ways to reduce exposure to financial crimes include protecting your financial data, by shredding documents with sensitive information before discarding, changing passwords frequently, and implementing segregation of duties within organizations.

Other Resources:
•    Tools for fraud victims: Fraudaid.org a not for profit organization that works for fraud victims.
•    Cost of Fraud: Staggering-Cost-of-Fraud.pdf Cost-of-Complaceny.pdf
•    Perform a Fraud prevention Checkup in your organization: Collaborate with your colleagues or management team to perform a checkup to determine your organizations readiness and identify potential risks that may exist. Fraud_Prev_Checkup_DL(1).pdf
•    Fraud Tips for Business Leaders:5-Fraud-Tips-Every-Business-Leader-Should-Act-On.pdf



About the author

Director of Community Service, Houston Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)