Hundreds of organizations worldwide have partnered with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) to participate in International Fraud Awareness Week, November 11-17, 2012, to promote antifraud awareness and education.
The grassroots movement shines a spotlight on the issue during a time when businesses and government agencies around the world are losing an estimated 5 percent of their annual revenues to fraud, according to an ACFE study released earlier this year. Applied to the 2011 gross world product (GWP), this figure translates to a potential projected annual fraud loss of more than $3.5 trillion.
Fraud Week was first organized twelve years ago by the ACFE, the world's largest antifraud organization and provider of antifraud training and education, in an effort to proactively fight fraud and help safeguard businesses and the economy from this growing problem.
Since then, the list of supporters has grown to more than 700 business, agencies, and individuals, many of whom will be engaging in various activities during the week, including:
Hosting fraud awareness training for employees and/or the community.
Assessing fraud knowledge and risk factors within their organization.
Posting articles on company websites and in newsletters.
Teaming with local media to highlight the problem of fraud.
In Nebraska, Governor Dave Heineman signed a proclamation stating that November 11-17, 2012, is officially International Fraud Awareness Week in the state. And in Ohio, Franklin University, National White Collar Crime Center, Ohio Ethics Commission, Ohio Inspector General, and Ohio Investigators Association have collaborated to present a two-day fraud training conference. Other organizations in the United States and abroad are hosting live trainings, webinars, and other antifraud activities during the week.
ACFE President and CEO James D. Ratley, CFE, said that the support of organizations around the world helps make Fraud Week an effective tool in raising antifraud awareness.
"While fraud prevention and detection is a year-round endeavor, International Fraud Awareness Week provides a great opportunity to spotlight this serious problem and stress the importance of antifraud training and education", Ratley said. "Businesses and organizations that are involved in this campaign show an understanding that spreading awareness is key in combating the worldwide fraud threat.
In its 2012 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, the ACFE found that:
Fraud schemes are extremely costly. The median loss caused by the occupational fraud cases in the ACFE study was $140,000. More than one-fifth of the frauds involved losses of at least $1 million.
Small businesses are especially vulnerable to occupational fraud. These organizations are typically lacking in antifraud controls compared to their larger counterparts, which makes them particularly vulnerable to fraud.
Tips are key in detecting fraud. Occupational frauds are much more likely to be detected by tips than by any other means. This finding reinforces the need for promoting awareness to foster an informed workforce.
For more information about increasing awareness and reducing the risk of fraud during International Fraud Awareness Week, visit www.FraudWeek.com.