Corporate Investigator Answers Investigation

Office Fraud

Fraud in the Workplace

Fraud in the UK is dramatically increasing. According to a British Chambers of Commerce survey, 58% of business have experienced at least one incidence of crime in the last 12 months

Overall, 15% of businesses have experienced just one instance of crime in the last 12 months, 28% between two and five incidents, 7% between six and ten incidents and 5% eleven or more. Of those that have experienced crimes in the last 12 months, 28% chose not to report the incidents to the police. (see summary of key points)

The majority suggest that they might not report a crime if there were no or only a relatively small loss or damage to their premises or property. 36% claim they might not report it because of a lack of confidence in any police response and 29% feel the time taken to report such an instance could be too time consuming

The biggest fraud theft comes from within businesses. Coupled with an estimated cost to industry of £10bn as a result of the Compensation Culture it is small wonder businesses feel constantly under threat. 73% believe that business crime results in real costs to their business. While 16% suggest this cost is under £1k, 28% say it is between £1k and £5k and 29% say it is higher. On average, the estimated annual cost to business is £12,200

69% claim business crime has impacted upon their business.  58% claim it has wasted staff time, 32% that it has disrupted trading, 23% that it has affected staff morale and 18% that it has raised insurance costs. 13% feel they have lost business as a result of business crime, 11% believe their company image has been damaged and 9% have had to make changes to their building layout and design

Turning a "blind eye" to internal activity - such as bribery - engenders a culture that can allow a business to fall victim to fraud and, potentially, to be seen as a fraudster - a matter that can be a PR disaster and may damage a business dramatically. The Fraud Act 2006 states that fraud can be committed in one of three ways

  • Fraud by false representation e.g. a person falsely representing a company
  • Fraud by failing to disclose information e.g. an estate agent giving incorrect information on a property for personal gain
  • Fraud by abusing a position of trust e.g. an employee copying intellectual property for personal profit
  • Under the Act, there are various "new" offences, covering:

  • Fraudulent trading by sole traders, partnerships and trusts
  • Obtaining services by deception (including deception against a computer
  • Fraud committed overseas
  • The making, supplying or possession of articles for use in fraud
  • In addition, a Director, Manager or Company Secretary may be held personally liable where it can be proved that a fraud committed by a company was committed with their consent

    Contact us in the first instance either by telephone on 01483 200999 or email to info@answers.uk.com. All matters are handled sensitively, confidentially and discreetly

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