More and more companies and private individuals are affected by fraud. The inventiveness is great and there are always new ways of trying to trick us. What trends do we see at UC and what can we do about the problem?
Fraud is widespread and costs society big money, a report from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise shows that the cost of their members in terms of fraud exceeds 55 billion a year. A breathtaking sum.
The police themselves say that they are unable to investigate the crimes and that 90 percent of all fraud is written off. This is because the crimes are difficult to investigate as most fraud is committed via the network and then it is difficult to find the fraudster. Even if one were to find the fraudster, the penalty rate was in comparison with other crimes. This means that many are tempted to continue, the crimes give big profits and the discovery risk is low.
How to prevent fraud?
Given that there are so few crimes that are cleared up, it is particularly important to stop the fraud before they arise. That we are all aware that fraud is happening and keep in mind that there are people who want to fool us. The fraud offenses that affect private individuals are primarily identity creations, that is, someone uses your identity to take loans or buy goods. Last year, the number of people subjected to ID hijacking was 116,000. A wise choice is to block the change of address at the Swedish Tax Agency or obtain a security service where you notice if someone takes a credit report on you. It is also wise to block their information in connection with an ongoing fraud. If one has been exposed to a fraud, one is at greater risk of being exposed to more, as many as 60 per cent suffer from several fraud. The fraudster wants to take as many loans and carry out as many purchases as possible in a short time. The number of people who contacted the credit information companies to put a fraud guard increased by 26% last year, which is a big increase.
How does it look for the companies?
When it comes to business fraud, it is becoming increasingly common for fraudsters to use companies as a tool. It may be that you start up a company with the idea that you should use it to commit crime or you take over an existing company to commit crime. One approach is that fraudsters buy a company and leave a small down payment. Then the board is asked to sit for a transitional period. They set up proxies for the new buyers that maximize the company’s creditworthiness. The old board then remains with a growing debt mountain when the fraudsters are ready.
Fraudulent companies going bankrupt
Bankruptcies are increasing even though we are in a boom. This has led us to continuously analyze bankrupt companies in our tool against fraud, UC Detekt. We see that every fourth company in bankruptcy shows signs of fraudulent or in any case frivolous business. What we find is information that is inconsistent and does not follow a normal pattern. One thing we see is that companies often scan their financial statements. This means that the Board submits a new false financial statement to the Swedish Companies Registration Office. The purpose, of course, is to try to showcase a company that looks good and has a high credit rating, in order to maximize its credit.
Tips for avoiding fraud
As a private person:
- Be aware that there are people who want to fool you
- Obtain a surveillance service so that you notice if someone is taking a credit report on you.
- If you are exposed to a fraud, make sure you put a scam to avoid future fraud.
As an entrepreneur:
- Ask yourself the purpose of the transaction. Is it reasonable considering the size and business of the company?
- Can the company’s representatives answer questions about the company?
- Check the company’s URL at domainbigdata.com. Here you can see if the address has recently been registered even though the company has been around for a long time. Does the name match the domain?
- Google pictures of the company. We have found cases with restaurants that will be located on the fourth floor of an apartment building!
- Use UC’s tools. Our fraud tool UC Detekt builds statistical risk calculations and on individual rules. We compare over 400 parameters with each other and determine whether the information is false, inconsistent or correct. If you get a meeting in our tool, you need to dig further and do a more thorough examination of the company.