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Among professionals, the most susceptible group is dental practices. Some of the reasons are:
No. Theft is simpler. Theft is a crime of opportunity. Theft is often not premeditated and is often a one time thing. And it is easier to detect.
Fraud involves something more -- deceit, planning, intent. It requires someone to perpetrate a crime and cover it up. It requires access to the records that must be manipulated to hide the action. And fraud usually occurs over a period of time -- often measured in years. One reason is to keep individual transactions to small amounts that won’t attract attention. So, to make it worthwhile, the perpetrator needs to repeat the behavior many times.
85% of people who perpetrate fraud have no previous criminal record. Most are long term, trusted employees.
According to some statistics, 60% of people exercise situational ethics. In other words, good moral people will undertake aberrant behavior when they feel their personal circumstances are so dire that they have no other choice. Often this is precipitated by financial troubles. There are many potential causes, ranging from a gambling or a drug problem to major health issues to the loss of family income from some other source or to an unexpected tragedy in their personal lives.
Fraud hits professionals particularly hard since it is damaging both professionally and personally. The professional is the business face and the anchor of the practice’s brand. So, while the practice absorbs most of the impact of fraud, it spills over into the personal lives of the professionals and their families.
According to the 2010 Association of Certified Fraud examiners (ACFE) Report to the Nations, the average loss against professional practices from fraud schemes is $110,000 per year due to billing schemes, cheque or payment tampering, expense or payables fraud and skimming of cash.
There are many things you can do to prevent fraud from happening or to detect it and lessen the impact. For starters, ask yourself whether or not you have done these:
If you have any doubts about your risk or would like more information on this topic, please contact your local MNP advisor.
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