PwC’s Thailand Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020
Partner Forensic Services
PwC’s Thailand Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020 found that one-third of Thai companies had been affected by fraud, corruption and other economic crimes during the last two years, well down from the 48% who reported being victims of at least one attack in 2018. We believe this response tells us more about companies’ preparedness to detect and respond to crime than it does about how much crime is actually occurring. We believe that when reported incidences are higher, as they were in 2018, this indicates that companies are investing more in the fraud detection programmes, specialized staff and technology needed to detect crime. And when reported incidences fall, like they did this year, this could mean fraudsters are winning the war, evolving their methods and using new technologies to breach defences undetected.
Today’s companies need to take on board that the risk of economic crime is not going away any time soon. If anything, companies are becoming even more exposed as the business environment changes to take advantage of new technologies. The fight against economic crime and fraud is a never-ending war. Especially in this increasingly complex world, companies need to focus more than ever on assessing their defences against fraud, and their readiness to respond with effective fraud-fighting measures when they discover an attack. Companies that take appropriate steps today can turn the table against fraudsters and can start to win the war.
The battle against fraud, corruption and other economic crimes is a never ending one, and companies can pay a steep price if they leave themselves exposed. In addition to direct financial losses, companies also face less tangible damages such as brand damage, a loss in market position, and declining workforce morale. This survey is an essential part of the toolkit for companies that want to stay on top of the battle against economic crime. It provides extensive insight into the types of crime that companies are at risk from, who is responsible, and the impact companies face if they get hit.
Most importantly, the survey shows what the most successful companies are doing to protect themselves from fraud and other financial crimes, as well as how some companies have responded to being attacked to build an even stronger organisation out of the experience. The key message is that economic crime is an ever-present and constantly evolving threat. Companies need to protect themselves by assessing their vulnerabilities, putting effective defences in place, and responding quickly and appropriately if they discover they have been attacked. Even though the war may be neverending, companies that approach the risk head on stand the best chance of coming out on top in each and every battle.
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Key findings of the report:
- This year’s survey shows a drop in reported incidents from 2018, but this could indicate that fraudsters are winning the war by evolving their methods and using new technologies to breach defences. So we believe a lot of fraud is going undetected.
- Two of thirds of respondents reported that they encountered between one and five attacks. Almost one in ten (9%) were hit more than ten times.
- The most common types of fraud they experienced were asset misappropriation, procurement fraud, and bribery and corruption.
- Looking first at internal crime, the majority of cases in Thailand were done by operations staff, followed by middle and senior management.
- Almost one-third of crimes were discovered by someone alerting the company, either by informal tip-off (20%) or a formal whistleblowing hotline (10%).
- Although investment in whistleblowing programmes should continue, other crime detection channels shouldn't be neglected as Thai companies are trailing their global peers in many detection areas.
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