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Fraud and cyber crime most prevalent crimes

Member: Nifa

For the first time in its history, the results of the British Crime Survey show that fraud and cyber crime are the most prevalent crimes committed against people in England and Wales. This statistic is even more worrying because crime in this area is hugely under-reported. In fact, according to Action Fraud, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, there is a vast difference between the 406,935 such crimes reported to the organisation in 2014 and the millions evidenced in the Survey.

The cost of fraud to the UK economy is estimated to be around £30bn annually but the authorities insist that this amount could be cut if more preventative action was taken, particularly by business owners. Apart from monetary loss, fraud and the ensuing litigation can damage the reputation of a business, so anything that can be done to minimise this must be welcomed.

Employing forensic accountants on a regular basis can assist in this area to check on the robustness of internal processes to handle internal and external threats. Then, if fraudulent activity is discovered, the investigative team will recommend improvements to controls within the organisation to prevent any similar frauds occurring in the future.

However, if the courts do become involved, the forensic accountants will look beyond the numbers and provide independent, authoritative and objective analysis of the situation. They are also experienced in giving evidence in court and will present their findings in a clear, logical manner that is easy for the layperson to understand.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 29 October 2015

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