Pulling fraud out of the shadows

Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2018: Canadian insights

The biggest competitor you didn’t know you had

Our 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey shows economic crime is up, with 55% of Canadian respondents experiencing an incident of economic crime in the past 24 months. But what about the other 45%? Have they avoided falling victim—or are they simply unaware they have?

Fraud hides in the shadows, so a perpetrator’s most powerful weapon is a lack of awareness within organizations. It’s time for businesses to recognize the true nature of the threat: not as just a nuisance or cost of doing business but as a shadow industry with tentacles in every country, sector and function.


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Four actions you can take right now

As more aspects of business and commerce have gone digital, economic crime has followed suit. The lines between online and physical environments, and between different economic crimes is blurring. In the past two years, cybercrime has become the most reported crime in Canada (46%), followed by asset misappropriation (38%), and fraud committed by the consumer (36%). 

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When it comes to fraud, technology is a double-edged sword, potentially acting both as a threat and protector. The good news is organizations can now call on a wealth of innovative technologies like predictive analytics, machine learning and other artificial intelligence techniques for protection. But there’s a long way to go for Canadian organizations to catch up to their global counterparts when it comes to harnessing the full potential of technology.

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Canadian respondents report that economic crime has affected them less than their global counterparts, including lower impacts on brand reputation, on employee morale, on business relations, from regulators and on share prices.

But the public’s tolerance for corporate and personal misbehaviour is declining. Failure to appropriately understand and respond to the impacts of economic crime can ultimately cause more lasting damage than the fraudulent activity itself.

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While many instances of economic crime can be caught by machines, most fraudulent activity also requires human judgment and interference. Focusing on human behaviour ultimately offers the best opportunity to reduce or prevent many economic crimes. While many employers place trust in their employees, more than a third of economic crime (35%) is committed by internal actors. A small investment in culture can pay huge dividends.

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Domenic Marino

Domenic Marino

National Deals Leader, Partner, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 941 8265

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