March is Fraud Prevention Month and consumers, government agencies and businesses alike can learn more about ways they can prevent fraud by visiting their favourite social media site and doing a search for the hashtag #FPM2017.
Scams are limited only by the creativity of the individual’s perpetrating them, but there are numerous online resources that the public sector, companies and individuals can turn to in order to learn how to reduce the likelihood of being defrauded.
We’ve published resources and strategies related to personal fraud reduction strategies in pasts posts. Consumers should check with their financial institutions and credit bureau providers to see about what fraud protection measures are available. For example, consumers can have alerts set up on their credit bureau so that they are notified if someone is attempting to obtain credit in their name. If someone is attempting to obtain credit in your name you’re already a victim of identity theft, but the measure may prevent you from being further victimized by the fraudster, who may obtain credit cards, mortgages, car loans, lines of credit and other types of debt in your name.
We’ve also provided materials on how small-to-medium sized businesses can reduce the chance of fraud in their operating environment. We encourage our SME readers to visit our past posts to check out simple but effective ways to reduce the incidence of fraud in their business.
In addition, government agencies and businesses can also complete a simple fraud prevention check-up questionnaire which is available on the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner’s (ACFE) website. It is generic and it some topics won’t apply to every organization; however, the tool is useful as a way to start meaningful conversations around fraud within your company or department. In the later part of 2016, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) and the ACFE have also partnered to create a Fraud Risk Management Guide, which is also a useful tool to promote anti-fraud practices within large and more complex organizations.
We encourage everyone to keep the conversation going as fraud and corruption are important topics that impact our economy significantly. Post your fraud prevention ideas online and use the hashtag #FPM2017 while doing it. Also, if you are a business or government agency, we encourage you contact us to learn more about how to prevent and detect fraud in your organization.