BDO Stoy Hayward’s 2008 Fraudtrack Survey published today shows that incidences of publically notified fraud cases rose in 2008 by 14%. The value of those reported frauds totalled around 1.19 billion GBP.
If anyone is surprised or alarmed by those numbers, I’ve got worse news- these figures only show the tip of an almighty iceberg. Some estimate that fraud in this country is now worth over 50 billion GBP per annum, and is likely to accelerate as the recession bites because unfortunately, economic hardship brings out the worst in some people.
If we all know that the fraud industry is growing and is massive in scale, why can BDO Stoy Hayward and others only see a fraction of the picture? Mostly, it is to do with the fact that most corporate frauds like to be handled discreetly by the victims- often for understandable reasons.No company would like to publicise the fact that they’ve been “had” as maybe it reveals a chink in their protective armour, and therefore may attract copycats. Others are simply embarassed, and prefer to write the loss off as a bad debt without notifying the authorities. Perhaps more worryingly, some go completely undetected.
There is some better news though…….According to Government figures published in November 2008, there was a 52% increase in the number of fraud cases going to court in 2007, and of those, 87% ended in a conviction….. so some of these blighters are getting their comeuppance, in part due to the strengthened Fraud Act of 2006. One thing’s for sure, there are always some interesting fraud stories doing the rounds. Anyone got a juicy fraud to tell about?
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