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International Fraud Awareness Week

International Fraud Awareness Week (IFAW) is a global effort aimed at shedding light on fraud through campaigns and educational initiatives, fostering awareness and prevention.

Fraud encompasses deliberate actions aimed at deceiving individuals to gain an unlawful or unjust advantage.

Fraudulent activities permeate various aspects of human life, continually evolving in sophistication and potential gains.

“Fraud extends beyond financial misconduct and includes activities like identity theft, voter fraud, healthcare fraud, and more,” says Daniel Lerner, Executive Vice President, Investment Services at David Lerner Associates, Inc.

According to Occupational Fraud 2022: A Report to the Nations, companies lose approximately 5 percent of their revenue annually due to fraud with the average loss per case standing at $1,783,000. The risk of fraud is often exacerbated during uncertain economic times.

When is International Fraud Awareness Week?

International Fraud Awareness Week is a global event that typically takes place in the third week of November. This year’s International Fraud Awareness Week will take place from November 12-18, 2023.

During this week, individuals, businesses, and organizations worldwide come together to raise awareness about fraud prevention and educate people on how to protect themselves against financial deception.

History of International Fraud Awareness Week

International Fraud Awareness Week has a history rooted in the collective effort to combat fraud.

Throughout history, fraud has been a persistent issue, dating back to ancient times. Notable instances include the Greek merchant Hegestratos attempting insurance fraud in 300 B.C., fraudulent activities in the Roman government, and the Praetorian Guard’s scheme to sell the Roman throne in 193 A.D. Sir Isaac Newton, while serving as the Master of the Royal Mint, faced numerous fraud challenges, including the South Sea Bubble of 1720.

The 18th and 19th centuries witnessed significant fraud cases, such as the Mississippi Bubble, William Duer’s near market crash, Ulysses S. Grant and Daniel Drew’s cases, and the 1929 stock market crash, leading to the establishment of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the 21st century, technology has introduced new complexities to fraud, with cases like the FIFA bribery scandal, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the Enron scandal, and the Huawei fraud case.

Fraud impacts individuals and large corporations, even tech giants like Facebook and Google. As technology evolves, fraud continues to adapt, necessitating ongoing efforts to mitigate risks of deception for individuals, businesses, and governments.

International Fraud Awareness Week was established in 2000 by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) to emphasize the importance of fraud detection, prevention, and education on a global scale.

This annual event has evolved over the years, growing in scope and significance as fraud-related challenges have become more complex in our interconnected world.

Who Gets Involved in International Fraud Awareness Week?

International Fraud Awareness Week is a collaborative effort that involves various stakeholders:

  • Businesses and Organizations: Companies and institutions of all sizes recognize the importance of fraud prevention. They actively participate in the week by organizing events, workshops, and training sessions to educate their employees and clients about fraud risks.
  • Government Agencies: Law enforcement agencies, regulatory bodies, and government departments play a crucial role in combating fraud. They often lead awareness campaigns and provide resources to help individuals and businesses protect themselves.
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Many nonprofits, including consumer advocacy groups and anti-fraud organizations, are actively engaged in spreading awareness about fraud risks and prevention strategies.
  • Educational Institutions: Schools and universities incorporate fraud awareness into their curriculum to equip the next generation with the knowledge and skills to identify and combat fraud.
  • Individuals: People from all walks of life take part by educating themselves and their peers or co-workers about common fraud schemes and red flags. They also learn how to report fraud and protect their personal information.

International Fraud Awareness Week Participation Ideas

Here are some effective ways to participate in International Fraud Awareness Week and contribute to the fight against financial deception:

  • Organize Workshops and Training: If you’re a business owner or manager, consider hosting fraud prevention workshops for your employees. Ensure they’re aware of the latest fraud tactics and how to recognize and report suspicious activity.
  • Educate Your Community: Share fraud prevention tips and resources with your local community. You can hold informational sessions at community centers, libraries, or online webinars to reach a broader audience.
  • Promote Awareness on Social Media: Use your social media platforms to share informative articles, infographics, and videos about fraud prevention. Encourage your followers to share these resources to reach a wider audience. Use the hashtag #InternationalFraudAwarenessWeek.
  • Support Anti-Fraud Initiatives: Contribute to or volunteer with organizations dedicated to fighting fraud. Your involvement can make a huge difference in their efforts.
  • Stay Informed: Educate yourself about common fraud schemes and stay updated on emerging threats. The more informed you are, the better equipped you’ll be to protect yourself and others.
  • Download the free Fraud Week logo and share it on your website or materials.
  • Urge your governor to issue an official proclamation affirming your state’s commitment to supporting Fraud Week.

Join Us in Fighting Fraud

International Fraud Awareness Week serves as a reminder that fraud prevention is a shared responsibility. By working together and staying alert, we can reduce the impact of fraud on individuals, businesses, and society as a whole.

Here at David Lerner Associates, we’re continuously engaged with our staff members and partners in the fight against fraud, but we can’t do it alone. Join us in this global effort to raise awareness, prevent financial deception, and promote ethical financial practices.

Remember, fraud awareness does not begin and end with Fraud Awareness Week. It’s a continuous effort by all stakeholders.

Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable– we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

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