PwC Survey Shows Economic Crime is on the Rise

According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Economic Crime Survey 2003, not only is large-scale economic crime on the rise, many of those corporate watchdogs who are supposed to prevent crime from occurring may not know how to identify or stop criminal acts.

More than 3,600 senior representatives at the top 1,000 companies in 50 countries around the world participated in the survey, sharing information about their experiences with economic crime and methods for detecting and deterring such crime. Economic crime is defined as the intentional use of deceit to deprive another of money, property or a legal right. The purpose of the survey is to aid companies in the development of effective ways for combating economic crime.

Survey results show that the larger the company, the more likely economic crime has occurred. More than 30% of respondents in all types of industries report incidences of economic crime, citing asset misappropriation, defined to include theft and embezzlement of cash, supplies, and equipment, as the most common type of crime.

Only half of survey respondents insure against economic crime, and nearly three quarters of crime victims indicated they recovered less than 20% of losses.

While 60% of respondents indicated they had experienced economic crime against their companies in the form of asset misappropriation, other types of crime were much less prevalent. Product piracy was the second most common type of economic crime, affecting 19% of the companies surveyed, followed by cybercrime (15%), corruption and bribery (14%), financial misrepresentation (10%), then industrial espionage (7%) and money laundering (1%).

U.S. survey respondents reported expectations that economic crime would increase during the next five years. And while incidences of cybercrime were noted at only 15% of companies surveyed, compared to 60% reporting incidences of asset misappropriation, survey respondents predicted that 45% of companies will be most vulnerable to both cybercrime and asset misappropriation in the next five years.

You can read the complete PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Economic Crime Survey 2003.

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