Businesses: Take These Five Steps to Combat Fraud


ACFE urges prevention measures during International Fraud Awareness Week


AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 14, 2012)-- Screen employees. Conduct audits. During International Fraud Awareness Week, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) provides these and other simple steps any organization can take to help manage risk and decrease losses. 


Hundreds of businesses and agencies worldwide have partnered this week with the ACFE, the world’s largest anti-fraud organization, to participate in International Fraud Awareness Week to promote anti-fraud awareness and education.  


The grassroots movement shines a spotlight on the issue during a time when organizations 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, this figure translates to a potential projected annual fraud loss of more than $3.5 trillion. 


The ACFE advises organizations of any size to take the following measures to combat fraud: 


1. Be proactive.  

Establish and maintain internal controls specifically designed to prevent and detect fraud. Adopt a code of ethics for management and employees. Set a tone at the top that the company will not tolerate any unethical behavior. Implement an employee reporting system, such as an anonymous hotline, to help uncover fraud.


2. Establish hiring procedures.  

Every company, regardless of size or industry, can benefit from formal employment guidelines. When hiring staff, conduct thorough background investigations. Check educational, credit and employment history (as allowed by law), as well as references. After hiring, incorporate evaluation of the employee's compliance with company ethics and anti-fraud programs into regular performance reviews.


3. Train employees in fraud prevention.  

Once carefully-screened employees are on the job, they should be trained in fraud prevention. Are employees aware of procedures for reporting suspicious activity by customers or co-workers? Do workers know the warning signs of fraud? Ensure that staff know at least some basic fraud prevention techniques.


4. Conduct regular audits. 

High risk areas, such as financial or inventory departments, are obvious targets for routine audits. Surprise audits of those and all parts of the business are crucial. A good starting point in identifying fraud risks and establishing a strategy to prevent such losses is ACFE's Fraud Prevention Check-up (PDF):


5. Call in an expert.  

For most firms, fraud examination is not a core business component. That's why, when fraud is suspected or discovered, it is imperative to enlist the anti-fraud expertise of a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). The CFE credential is recognized by businesses and governments worldwide as the standard for fraud investigation, prevention and detection.


Fraud Week was first organized 12 years ago by the ACFE 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 are 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, and teaming with local media to highlight the problem of fraud. 


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 anti-fraud 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 anti-fraud training and education,” Ratley said. “Once again, we want to say ‘thank you’ to all of the Fraud Awareness Week supporters around the world for your commitment to the cause,” Ratley said. 


For more information about increasing awareness and reducing the risk of fraud during International Fraud Awareness Week, visit 



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