A fraudulent act can be initiated through a number of mediums and today fraud is one of the most common forms of criminal activity affecting both business and private individuals. The fraudster will often take elaborate steps to cover their tracks and mask their identity.
HOW FRAUD IMPACTS
Recently (Experian, July 2017) it was estimated that over 4 million people have been victims of fraud and in the UK an act of fraud is committed every second!
In September 2014, research by the publisher ‘Raconteur’ found that 44% companies reported an incidence of fraud; and of those organisations, 41% of frauds were committed by an employee.
Another startling statistic is reported by “The Annual Fraud Indicator 2016”; which is a consortium led by the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies. It appears that the private sector has been under the biggest attack from fraudsters, with both SMEs and large enterprises losing an estimated total of £144 billion a year. By far the biggest source of fraud for these businesses relates to procurement – an enormous £127 billion. Procurement fraud includes crimes such as the submission of false invoices or the awarding of contracts in exchange for bribes.
STERLING’S APPROACH TO FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS
Our structured approach to fraud investigations is to break it down into its component parts making it simple to understand.
This not only assists the investigation but, if necessary, any tribunal or prosecuting authority called upon to examine the facts making it easy to understand and arrive at the truth.
Investigations often involve:
- Interviews with employees.
- The identification of others outside the investigation.
- Interviews of witnesses.
- Recovery of both documentary evidence and other evidential data.
Fraud investigations undertaken by Sterling haven the past identified:
- Unexplained losses
- Misconduct by employees
- Theft of goods within companies
- Theft of intellectual property
- Identity theft
- Misuse of company computers leading to Data protection Act breaches
- Fraudulent vendor invoices.
It is important to act quickly once a fraud is discovered or suspected in order to minimise losses. Unless the situation is addressed quickly, it often worsens. Unfortunately, company fraud and related insurance investigations are sometimes given lower priority by stretched police forces; Sterling’s fast and effective response therefore proves very beneficial. We can assist in locating assets and recovery, therefore limiting losses and limiting damage.
Sterling will assist in providing a detailed forensic analysis and fully report our findings.
Protect yourself against fraud:
If you are unsure of any past, present or future investment opportunities, call us today and we can carry out a tailor-made background check on any company or individual that require checking or verification.