QUICK QUIZ: A WELL-KNOWN FRAUD HYPOTHESIS DEVELOPED BY DONALD CRESSEY IDENTIFIES A FRAUD TRIANGLE, WHICH INCLUDES THREE FACTORS THAT NEED TO BE PRESENT FOR FRAUD TO TAKE PLACE. WHAT ARE THOSE THREE FACTORS?
Not so fast. We’ll get to the answer, of course. But it’s not so easy, huh? That’s one reason why the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) established International Fraud Awareness Week, a week-long event that seeks to inform the public with anti-fraud awareness and education, thereby minimizing the impact of fraud. It’s a serious problem.
According to the ACFE, companies are losing roughly 5 percent of their revenue annually due to fraud. And that’s where International Fraud Awareness Week comes in. Established in 2000, this year’s event, November 14-20, 2021, encourages business leaders and employees to proactively work to minimize the impact of fraud. The ACFE is encouraging both individuals and organizations to register as official supporters of the event, after which they can host educational presentations, distribute anti-fraud information, and promote other activities during the week.
“Becoming an Official Supporter of International Fraud Awareness Week helps demonstrate your organization’s commitment to preventing and detecting fraud,” ACFE writes on its website. “You will be given access to resources provided by the ACFE to help your organization and/or employees take a proactive stance against fraud. You will be encouraged to use these materials during Fraud Week and to help promote the campaign among your employees, stakeholders and your local media outlets.”
The ACFE will provide links on its Fraud Week website to all companies that register as an Official Supporter. There is no cost to register; the ACFE merely asks that companies help spread awareness of its anti-fraud efforts. Official Supporters can access downloadable anti-fraud promotional resources on the ACFE website, while leveraging its sample fraud policy to customize one for their own purposes.
According to the ACFE, preventing fraud is not a one-week proposition. Rather, fraud is committed every day around the world, and the ACFE urges companies to provide antifraud awareness training for their employees while continually revising their fraud policy. “Deterrence begins with making individuals aware that fraud will not be tolerated, and that controls are in place to detect it,” the ACFE writes.
Now, back to our initial question: According to Donald Cressey, the Fraud Triangle includes three factors that need to be present for fraud to take place. What are those three factors? Answer: Pressure, perceived opportunity, rationalization.
According to Cressey, “Trusted persons become trust violators when they conceive of themselves as having a financial problem which is non-shareable, are aware this problem can be secretly resolved by violation of the position of financial trust, and are able to apply to their own conduct in that situation verbalizations which enable them to adjust their conceptions of themselves as trusted persons with their conceptions of themselves as users of the entrusted funds or property.” For more fraud facts as well as information and resources about International Fraud Awareness Week, visit the ACFE website.
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