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NZ jumps to 4th place worldwide for reported fraud, PwC survey says

Wednesday 30th November 2011

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New Zealand has jumped to fourth place worldwide for reported frauds, with cyber fraud emerging as the latest threat to businesses, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers global economic crime survey.

New Zealand now ranks fourth out of 78 countries, up from eighth out of 54 in 2009. The latest survey shows 49.5% of New Zealand respondents were the victim of one or more frauds in the past year.

Compared to the 2009 survey, almost all sectors experienced a rise in fraud, the survey showed. The biggest increases for reported fraud were for retail and consumer, at 80 percent, energy and mining at 71 percent and government at 60%.

“Given the uncertain economic environment, the pressures and incentives to commit fraud have not declined since the 2009 survey, but instead appear to have increased," said Eric Lucas, PwC forensic services partner.

Cybercrime was included in the survey for the first time. It ranked third on 24 percent, behind accounting fraud at 30 percent and asset misappropriation on 74 percent. The survey found kiwi businesses are not taking cybercrime seriously, with 39 percent of respondents not receiving any cyber security training in the past year.

“Criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their approach as they have identified how organizations have a reliance on technology and the fraudsters are acquiring the technical skills to take advantage of low risk and high rewards,” Lucas said.

Businesses need be educated about what to do when they suspect someone of committing fraud, said Lucas. It is worrying that only 21 percent of kiwi organisations gave the fraudster nothing more than a wrap over the knuckles, he said.

Of the 93 New Zealand organisations who participated in the online survey, 39 percent of detected frauds came from tip-offs. However only two these were reported.


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