Shining a light on fraud

Awareness is the first step towards fighting economic crime

PwC’s 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey: Economic Crime and Fraud in Thailand

 

 

 

Thailand’s response to PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2018 threw up an extraordinary finding – 48% of the respondents said that they’d experienced economic crime in the last two years, almost doubled the percentage in 2016. A smaller but still significant jump was also seen globally, with experience of economic crime climbing from 36% to 49%.

Has economic crime in Thailand – and around the world – really increased that much, or is something else going on below the surface? Something we can’t quite see?

 

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Awareness is growing, but the complete picture is missing

Our survey shows that even while awareness is rising, too many companies here still have only limited insight into their economic crime. Alarmingly, only a small proportion of respondents in Thailand confidently said that they have extensive insight into all spectrums of economic crime within the organisation. Overall, we are still trailing behind the global average in being forefront and recognising what is happening within our business operations.

Fraud can manifest in many different ways and can affect many different parts of an organisation. A one-size-fits-all prevention strategy may leave blind spots for fraudsters to slip through.

In the 2018 survey, some types of fraud were included as separate categories for the first time in response to their growing prominence. Of these, business misconduct was the second most common fraud which Thai companies experienced in the last two years, with 40% being affected. Just 16% said that it was the most disruptive crime they’d experienced.

Just over one in five respondents (21%) said their company had been the victim of cybercrime in the last 24 months, with just over one in ten (11%) ranking it as the most serious in terms of its impact on their organisation. Despite these numbers, almost a third of respondents (32%) predicted that it would be the most serious crime over the next two years.

We believe the discrepancy between past experience and future concerns comes back to awareness of the issue. Cybercrime is the new kid on the block so it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s on people’s minds, especially as Thai businesses transform their operating models to take advantage of online opportunities and make use of emerging digital channels such as cloud solutions in both their front and back office operations.

Globally, internal and external perpetrators are spread more evenly with 52% of respondents saying that internal actors were responsible for the most disruptive fraud, and 40% saying that external actors did it.

While part of the wider spread in Thailand may be an awareness issue – as per the theme of this report – it’s clear that Thai companies are susceptible to fraud by employees.

This means investment in human capital to create a zero-tolerance-for-fraud culture should be a priority. As noted earlier, economic crime has a big impact on employee morale. But the flip side to this is that employees can play a big part in prevention if they’re supported by the right corporate culture.

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