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  • Type: KPMG information
  • Date: 10/1/2015

Been there done that, still here and will do more 

Fraud has been with us since the dark ages. Greek mythology abstractly personifies the character of fraud in the god Apate, who is associated with deceit, trickery, guile and treachery (theoi.com).
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To put things into perspective, two Greeks who went by the names Hegestratos and Xenothemis made history by being perpetrators of Bottomry (ancient maritime insurance) fraud around 300 BC. In Rome Pliny the Elder complained about the existence of counterfeit wine, which the nobility bought at a higher price than its genuine equivalent. Amid all these incidents, some ancient civilisations are lauded for inadvertently or perhaps deliberately devising techniques that may have formed the foundations for preventative or detective fraud controls today. For example, Archimedes proved that a crown was actually not gold by testing its density against solid gold. In ancient Rome, it is said that officials employed experts to analyse the handwritings of scribes to ascertain their authenticity. With this in mind it would not be inaccurate to state that fraud has been fought since the dawn of most civilisations and it appears that this war is still going on today.

 

As far as statistics from the Association of Fraud Examiners (ACFE 2014 – Report to the Nations) go, it may not come as a surprise that 17.8% of all global reported fraud cases came from the financial sector; but who would have thought that sectors such as education and agriculture account for 7% and 2% respectively, of all globally reported fraud cases? Equally surprising is the significance of median losses reported in such sectors as mining, which were close to US$900,000. With the advent of various enabling technologies, global interconnectedness and changes in social values and behaviours, people are getting smarter and they are devising ingenious ways of beating internal organisation controls for personal benefit...Read more