November 17th, 2020 | Sterling

International Fraud Awareness Week

This week is International Fraud Awareness Week, a global effort to minimise the impact of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education. I’d like to remind everybody to be aware of the risk of fraud for themselves, their families, and their businesses, and to stay cautious with their personal and business details.

Fraud and economic crime takes a significant toll on both individuals and businesses worldwide. However the scale and effect on businesses often goes unreported. Research has shown that over a third of Australian companies (35%) and 47% globally have been affected by some kind of fraudulent activity between 2018 and 2020. This equals over $60 billion in worldwide aggregate losses.

An increase in globalisation and reliance on technology for business processes has given rise to this ongoing growth in fraud around the world. The upheaval and uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has not helped, as people have relied even more heavily on technology and are increasingly supplying their details and communicating via web platforms.

Australian businesses lag behind in terms of their response to this increased risk of fraud, with 63% of Australian businesses surveyed by PwC found not to conduct a formal risk assessment for fraud, compared to 48% globally. There is significant room for Australian businesses to think more seriously about fraud, and consider ways they can mitigate their risks and protect their business from potential losses from the effects of fraudulent behaviour.

Fraud, and particularly identity theft, can affect almost all business processes, from hiring staff to choosing reliable suppliers, to providing your goods and services to real customers. One way in which to combat this risk is by conducting thorough background screening and identity verification when dealing with new individuals or businesses. It is a vital step in your business process as it minimises the chance that individuals are presenting themselves as someone they are not and protects your business from significant losses.

Background screening services can include identity verification, criminal background checks, employment history, credit history, right to work checks, and many more. Verifying this type of information will ensure that you are dealing with genuine individuals and businesses when entering new relationships. The time and money spent in the short-term is well worth the protection and security it grants you and your business in the long-term.

I hope everyone is staying safe, and I remind everyone to remain aware of the risks of fraud, both personally and from a business standpoint. Have a look at the resources available via the  International Fraud Awareness Week website and please get in touch with us at or visit our website if you’d like to discuss how background screening can be employed at your business. We’d be happy to help.

Elizabeth Fitzell
Managing Director

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