Fraud trend in post-pandemic era
The uncertain situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has driven businesses to be more agile and mindful of risks, especially the risk of fraud. Based on a survey conducted by ACFE and Grant Thornton to 83,677 ACFE members, more than 80% of organizations have already implemented one or more changes to their anti-fraud programs as a response to the pandemic. As we are entering the post-pandemic era, which is expected to be more challenging, there should be some adjustments that need to be implemented by organizations.
Fraud in post pandemic
As many as 71% of respondents expected that the level of fraud impacting their organizations would increase in 2022 or in the post-pandemic, with 21% expecting a significant increase.
As many as 80% expected that the increase would occur in thirteen fraud categories, and more than half of those respondents predicted fraud categories, such as cyberfraud (e.g., business email compromise, hacking, and malware) and social engineering (e.g., phishing, brandjacking, and baiting) would increase significantly.
“Shifts in business operations and changes in consumer behavior are the top two risk factors that are expected to impact the fraud risk landscape in the coming year,” said the report.
The travel industry is one of sectors that is predicted to experience an increase in fraud. A report says that Covid test results and fake vaccine passports are expected to be rampant. The scammers carry out their actions by offering vaccine passports via phishing emails, social media, and fake advertisements. The US Better Business Bureau has even warned those wishing to travel to beware of potential scams – even though the national vaccine passport has not yet been launched.
Another sector that may experience an increase in level of fraud is the restaurant industry. Dr. Liz Yost, professor, University of Central Florida, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, in a podcast said that many restaurants are starting to adapt to using app based third-party services to deliver their foods. That’s an opportunity for fraudsters to impersonate the third party and commit fraud against restaurants and consumers.
More than half of survey respondents believe that enhanced fraud awareness and increased collaboration across the organization are necessary for existing anti-fraud programs to work more effectively in the post-pandemic. Awareness of fraud risk by third parties, fourth party risk management, and due diligence, are the other areas, which are necessary to improve.