The news is full of interesting stories about fraud. We hear about:
- Identity theft
- Slip & falls (insurance fraud)
- Mortgage fraud
- Computer crimes (phishing)
- Cyber fraud
- Writing bad checks
- Enterprise corruption (organized crime)
Occupational fraud is the use of one’s occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of the employing organization’s resources or assets.
You don’t hear as much about occupational fraud in the news—and for good reason. Most organizations don’t want the media to know they’ve fallen victim to an employee embezzlement scheme. It’s a reputational black eye. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, nearly 40 percent of organizations do not refer fraud cases to law enforcement for fear of bad publicity, and a civil suit is filed only 23.5 percent of the time. Organizations recover nothing nearly half of the time (48.7 percent), so there may seem to be no point for a company to open itself up to media scrutiny by pursuing recovery.
Maybe in the future we’ll hear more about occupational fraud, since it happens more than we’d like to think!