Fraud awareness week underway in Windhoek

20 Nov 2014 10:30am
WINDHOEK, 20 NOV (NAMPA) - Namibia will for the very first time take part in the International Fraud Awareness Week (WFAW) here today.
It is a week dedicated to fraud awareness, detection and prevention, and aims to engage people all over the globe in efforts to minimize the impact of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education.
Only one day is earmarked for the campaign in Namibia.
It is organised under the auspices of the local chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and discussions will include sharing information on fraud and fraud-related issues to individuals and businesses.
“Fraud has a huge negative effect and impact on the community. If I only look at the investigations we at Specialised Investigation Consultant Services (SICS) did over the past year, there are millions of Namibian dollars involved,” said Jolande Botha, SICS public relations’ officer in an interview with Nampa on Wednesday.
SICS is a member of ACFE.
Fraud is a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.
A report released earlier this year by Ernst and Young Namibia highlighted that 76 per cent of participating businesses indicated that they suffered incidents of fraud and corruption over the past three years.
For the report, executive and risk management staff members from at least 90 Namibian companies were interviewed for their views on fraud, bribery and corruption.
Sixty-four per cent of the companies feel their businesses are not protected enough against fraud and corruption.
Brigitte Kisting, manager for Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services at Ernst and Young Namibia, said fraud is committed once there are factors like pressure, justification and an opportunity.
She advised business owners to ensure that they are not victims of fraud.
“In order to prevent fraud, companies must be pro-active by means of proper internal controls, they need to train their staff to be aware what to look out for, and companies must make sure they have proper policies and procedures in place,” Kisting told this agency on Monday.
She said most companies wait until something happens, and by that time it is too late, and companies already suffered financial losses.
Organisations and individuals who want to find out more about fraud and how it affects their businesses and the economy at large can attend a mini-expo at the Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) hall as from 10h00 on Thursday.
Several role-players in the industry like SICS, the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and various financial institutions will give presentations on fraud and fraud-related crimes.
The event will end at about 17h00.