Fraud costs organisations worldwide an estimated 5 percent of their annual revenues, according to a study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
The ACFE’s 2020 Report to the Nations analysed 2,690 occupational fraud cases that caused a total loss of more than $7.1 billion.
The seriousness of the global fraud problem is why The Staffordshire Counter Fraud Partnership announced that it will be participating in International Fraud Awareness Week, 14 – 20 November 2021, as an official supporter to promote anti-fraud awareness and education. The movement, known commonly as Fraud Week, champions the need to proactively fight fraud and help safeguard business and investments from the growing fraud problem.
The Staffordshire Counter Fraud Partnership joins hundreds of organizations who have partnered with the ACFE, the world's largest anti-fraud organisation and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education, for the yearly Fraud Week campaign.
During Fraud Week, the city council will engage in various activities, including sharing fraud awareness information with staff and members of the public.
Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “International Fraud Awareness week is an important global effort to minimize the impact of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education.
“Through the creation of the Staffordshire Counter Fraud Partnership we can now identify emerging fraud risks across boundaries and develop joined up strategies to tackle these. Partnership-wide fraud reporting mechanisms have also been implemented making it easier for residents to report their suspicions. Working together means we are safeguarding public money and raising awareness of how to report suspected fraud.”
ACFE president and CEO Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA, said that the support of organizations around the world helps make Fraud Week an effective tool in raising anti-fraud awareness.
“Fraud is an issue that unfortunately affects people from all walks of life around the world and it takes many forms,” said Dorris. “Whether it’s a trusted employee stealing from a small business, or organized rings of fraudsters targeting seniors in our community, most people know someone who’s been victimized by fraud. That’s why it’s so important for organizations to join in this fight together in order to raise awareness during this week. It is a serious problem that requires a proactive approach toward preventing it and educating people is the first step.”
For more information about increasing awareness and reducing the risk of fraud during International Fraud Awareness Week, visit FraudWeek.com.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council, working with Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, created the Staffordshire Counter Fraud Partnership in 2019 to combine resources aimed at tackling non-benefit fraud against both authorities. The ability to combine resources in the fight against fraud in Staffordshire has now been boosted by seven more local authorities signing up to the project:
- Staffordshire County Council
- Tamworth Borough Council
- Lichfield District Council
- Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
- Stafford Borough Council
- Cannock Chase District Council
- South Staffordshire Council
Two Housing Associations; Aspire Housing and Staffs Housing have also joined the partnership.
Local authorities are no longer responsible for investigating benefit fraud. Anyone who wants to report suspected benefit fraud, can call the national fraud hotline on 0800 854 440. The Staffordshire Counter Fraud Partnership focuses on a number of different fraudulent activities in areas including:
- Council tax discount schemes
- Housing tenancy fraud
- Right to Buy
- Business rates
- Social care payments
- Blue badges
Anyone can report suspected fraudulent activity online at www.staffsfraud.org, by calling the council’s hotline on 01782 236800 or via email at email@example.com. All reports will be treated confidentially and can be made anonymously.