Protect your business from fraud with the right measures

harnessing data science techniques to improve detection of fraud

Businesses can use data science techniques to improve fraud detection - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Businesses in the South West are being urged to act urgently to protect themselves from fraud.

For most organisations, this is a problem that can be tackled as long as the right measures are taken.

And, to help, audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe UK have published a free report which examines the issue and offers timely advice.

It is estimated that, were organisations in the UK to correctly measure and introduce actions to reduce fraud, savings of up to £55 billion could be made annually. This sum is greater than the UK government’s spend on defence in 2019-20.

The Financial Cost of Fraud Report, developed by Crowe in conjunction with the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the University of Portsmouth, draws on more than 20 years’ extensive research across a range of industries, organisations and countries, to reveal the true scale of this problem.

Since the start of Covid-19, there has been a 19.8% surge in fraud both directly related to the coronavirus and general economic-crisis driven fraud.

That is costing businesses and individuals across the South West £10.5 billion and UK £137 billion nationally every year, according to the research by Crowe.

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Jim Gee, Head of Forensic and Counter Fraud Services at Crowe, said: “Too many organisations adopt a reactive approach to fraud, seeking only to tackle it once losses have already occurred. That’s an out-dated viewpoint and a change of perspective is needed. Fraud is an ever present, high volume, low value problem and only a small proportion is detected. The question is not if it is taking place, but at what level.”

To tackle fraud, organisations can implement certain actions and practices to reduce the prevalence and impact of fraud losses. These measures cover internal culture change and external support provision, including:

  • changing the balance of human behaviour by educating the workforce and mobilising the honest majority
  • deterring and shrinking the dishonest minority to reduce fraud attempts
  • removing weaknesses in systems to reduce opportunities for fraud (prevention by design)
  • harnessing data science techniques to improve detection of fraud
  • engaging professional investigative support if fraud has occurred and been detected
  • invoking a range of sanctions, including criminal and civil law, disciplinary, contractual and regulatory sanctions
  • recovering losses with the aid of professional support


Download Crowe’s Financial Cost of Fraud Report at: https://www.crowe.com/uk/insights/financial-cost-of-fraud-2021

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