Every year hundreds of millions of dollars is estimated to be lost to fraud and corruption in New Zealand, with serious and lasting consequences for individuals, communities and businesses. One of the best ways to protect ourselves is through understanding where the risks are and how we can build our defences against them.
This International Fraud Awareness Week (13 – 19 November) the Serious Fraud Office is helping public sector organisations get to know their fraud threats inside and out. Our Counter Fraud Centre team will host a series of webinars where we will share what we have learned from decades of fighting fraud and corruption, and how agencies can take appropriate steps to strengthen their defences.
Insider Threats in the New Zealand public service
Historically low levels of corruption have led New Zealanders to become complacent about the insider threat of fraud and corruption risks to their organisation. Employers often focus on fraud from external threats and overlook that they need to manage the fraud risks created by insiders – either by those who might commit fraud or through enabling weaknesses within systems designed to mitigate risks, deliberately or inadvertently. An important factor in protecting an organisation is its culture.
During this session we covered what to look out for and how to mitigate the risk of being targeted by a malicious insider.
Spot the Signs: scams and how to recognise them
Greater reliance on digital forms of communication means that scams and scammers can target a much greater audience, and with increased levels of sophistication. Online scams and fraud have cost New Zealanders at least $4.5 million in 2020/21 financial year. This is a massive loss to New Zealand consumers, businesses, and the economy and causes serious emotional harm to victims and their families. Unfortunately, this includes employees of the public sector too.
During this session we covered various scams and how people can protect themselves against them.
True Crime: a NZ SFO case study
The Serious Fraud Office is the lead law enforcement agency for investigating and prosecuting serious and complex financial crime. Our purpose is to protect New Zealanders’ financial and economic wellbeing. We understand the importance of integrating prevention, investigations and prosecutions to have a greater impact on addressing serious and complex financial crime. By sharing the lessons learned from successful investigations and prosecutions the SFO aims to help people to prevent similar financial crimes occurring again.