International Fraud Awareness Week is observed globally in the third week of November. This year, the event takes place from November 12–November 18. The aim is to raise awareness of fraud through fraud prevention campaigns and education. Did you know that the Ponzi scheme was named after Charles Ponzi, who defrauded banks of about $20 million in 1920? Fraud is defined as an intentional act of deceiving someone to secure an unlawful or unfair gain. Fraud is not only financial. It also includes identity theft, voter fraud, healthcare fraud, and more. Fraud is pervasive in every area of human lives, and it’s becoming more sophisticated and rewarding. Education on the other hand removes such faults from society and helps to better it visit Scholaroo a place to find scholarships to support future of you and your loved ones.
History of International Fraud Awareness Week
Fraud is not a modern invention. Since antiquity, even before money was invented, people have been deceiving each other for personal gain. The first recorded fraud in history was carried out by a Greek merchant, Hegestratos, in 300 B.C. The merchant tried to perform an insurance fraud called bottomry, which would allow him to get a loan using his ship’s floating keel and hull. The insurance had a clause that made the loan void if the ship sinks during the voyage. While trying to drown his ship, he was caught by his crew and passengers, and later drowned as he was trying to escape from them.
Fraud was widespread during the ancient Roman era, especially in the government, where senior public officials participated in thefts and fraudulent tax collection. A famous fraud scheme of that era was that of the Praetorian Guard in 193 A.D. As bodyguards to the Roman emperor, Pertinax, they had him murdered and offered the throne to the highest bidder. But the Guard had no right to the throne, and the buyer learned that at his peril.
As the Master of the Royal Mint in the 17th century, Sir Isaac Newton faced multiple challenges of fraud that kept him busy throughout his tenure. He was also a victim of the earliest, most prominent investment crashes, the South Sea Bubble. During that period, there was a startup mania ongoing, with everyone rushing to invest in one innovation or the other without understanding what they were investing in. Those ventures never floated, and people lost a fortune to the bubble.
The 18 and 19 centuries had their fair share of big fraud cases, including the Mississippi Bubble, William Duer fraud bubble that almost crashed the New York market, Ulysses S. Grant and Daniel Drew cases, and the 1929 stock market crash. These fraud cases led the U.S. government to create the Securities and Exchange Commission.
With the advent of technology, fraud became more complicated for security agencies to track. Major fraud cases of the 21st century include the FIFA bribery and corruption scandal, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, Enron scandal, and Huawei fraud case. Fraud is not only limited to individuals. Big businesses are also victims. Even the likes of Facebook and Google are not left out. As technology advances, we can definitely expect fraud to grow. Individuals, businesses, and governments will have to put measures to minimize the risks of being defrauded.
International Fraud Awareness Week timeline
Hegestratos, a Greek shipping merchant, becomes the first known fraudster when he attempts to commit a bottomry fraud.
After the 1929 stock market crash, which leads to the Great Depression, the U.S. government creates the SEC
The DSW Shoe Warehouse’s 1.4 million credit card breach leads to the big boom age of data breaches.
Bernie Madoff commits the biggest Ponzi scheme, swindling investors of about $64.8 billion.
International Fraud Awareness Week FAQs
How can I be aware of fraud?
Educate yourself on the various types of fraud and the tactics – including the latest ones – that scammers or fraudsters employ to deceive people. Also, be wary of messages from unknown email addresses or persons, or calls from unknown numbers.
What do I do if I fall victim to fraud?
Contact your financial institution and ensure your accounts get frozen. Document all shreds of evidence of the crime and file a report with the authorities. That can either be Action Fraud or your district attorney. Then talk to your financial advisor or a lawyer to find out what your options are.
How does a bank investigate fraud?
After filing a fraud complaint with your bank, they will review the activities of your account and ask for relevant details of the fraud. Their internal fraud investigators will proceed to analyze the fraud and the origin. All these usually take 90 days, and in more complex cases, it is likely to take a longer period.
How to Observe International Fraud Awareness Week
Educate your network on anti-fraud measures
If you are knowledgeable on anti-fraud measures, why not share that knowledge with your network? Even if you are not, you can easily do online research to educate yourself and share what you have learned. Who knows, your information may prevent someone from being a victim of fraud. Outline what you would like to talk about and include informative images. Then share this information by posting on Twitter or other social media platforms.
Conduct a fraud check-up for your organization
As either an employee or an employer, you should do your part in safeguarding your organization from insider or outsider fraud. That involves performing a fraud check-up to identify weak points in your organization’s security and present the findings to the right people to develop a proper course of action. Check the International Fraud Awareness Week’s website or any other online security resource for fraud check-up tools.
Host an International Fraud Awareness Week event
Another way you can observe International Fraud Awareness Week is to organize a seminar at your workplace or in your community. Identity the theme for the event and develop an agenda – ensure that they align to fraud awareness. Invite expert speakers and inform your coworkers or people in your community about the event details. Remember to tag International Fraud Awareness Week for them to showcase your event on their events page.
5 Interesting Facts About Fraud
While identity fraud reduced, fraud’s cost increased
Although cases of identity fraud have declined over the years, the amount criminals generate from identity fraud has increased.
Corruption ranks top in fraud
Corruption ranks as the second most common type of fraud in the world, including the United States.
The aged are doorstep fraudsters’ target
According to statistics, 85% of the victims of doorstep fraud are over 65.
One in 10 adults are victims
Statistics provided by the Federal Trade Commission revealed one in ten adults falls victim to fraud yearly.
Children’s identities are also stolen
Statistics show that about 1.3 million children’s identities get stolen using the internet and social media platforms each year.
Why International Fraud Awareness Week is Important
Fraud Awareness and prevention helps to minimize financial loss
Yearly, organizations and individuals lose trillions of dollars to fraud of various forms, and that’s because they aren’t adequately educated on fraudsters’ tactics or set the necessary measures in place to safeguard against scams. Organizations and individuals can avoid future and long-term losses by adequately acquainting themselves with fraud strategies and investing in security and fraud prevention (for businesses).
International Fraud Awareness Week can help you become familiar with the best practices on fraud prevention
During International Fraud Awareness Week, anti-fraud professionals from different industries and sometimes countries come together to share information and knowledge with interested individuals and the larger business community. By participating in these gatherings, you can gain knowledge on fraud-prevention best practices.
Fraud Awareness and prevention can enhance customer trust
Fraud can be damaging to an organization’s reputation. It has reduced some organizations’ market share as customers are less reluctant to do business with them. Fraud has even caused some businesses to shut down. By taking the proper fraud prevention measures, you can boost customer trust in your business.
International Fraud Awareness Week dates