Fraud during the pandemic – Have organisations dropped the ball?

As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations, governments, law enforcement, regulators monitoring and or overseeing fraud controls in organisations, are all preoccupied with efforts to manage the effects of the pandemic as well as the spread of the virus, to temporarily worry about fraud. That creates a perfect storm where it is a great time for the fraudsters to strike because we are all looking in the other direction.

The current pandemic is proving to be fertile ground for the “man in the middle” frauds, a crime where an unauthorised third party obtains a consumer’s or business’s sensitive data as it is being sent over the Internet. It also comes as no surprise, that financial institutions such as banks, are being put at increased risk from the coronavirus COVID-19 fallout as cases of fraudulent transactions and accounting practices among trading companies come to light.

In times of economic hardship, fraud comes to the fore which is the case in times of a pandemic. As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with the challenges of pandemics can also create opportunistic fraudsters. For instance, many, if not all businesses are feeling the economic impact of the coronavirus as they struggle to remain financially liquid. Businesses will therefore seek new trade and business opportunities and offers of such are therefore hard to turn down. Businesses will most likely accept new offers with haste, but this can however leave businesses at serious risk of fraud. Anti-fraud bodies, legal and accountancy professions as well as companies and the wider public will all need to be vigilant to limit the damage that could be caused through fraud during these times.

Proper diligence checks still need to be performed so that fraud does not flourish during these uncertain times. Fraud risks evolve and increase in times of change and uncertainty. As organisations navigate the evolving business environment, they should proactively consider, enact, and improve on their anti-fraud programs to ensure their company assets and resources remain protected.

Nortons offers Forensic Services and has the expertise inhouse to assist organisations in matters regarding fraud and how to avoid common frauds related to the current pandemic and ensure that robust systems and controls are in place.

Should you require additional information, please contact Anthony Norton on 082 452 7336 or by email on anthony@nortonsinc.com; or Tendai Kanongovere on 073 172 0800 or by email on tendai@nortonsinc.com