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Scams cases surged during the Covid-19 pandemic and are only most likely to increase in the coming months, multinational accounting firm KPMG says.

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KPMG partner Stephen Bell said Covid-19 had developed a chance for potential scammers with the relaxation of typical working conditions. Submit image.
Photo: 123 RF

KPMG partner Stephen Bell said there was normally an increased threat of scams in any economic slump, as individuals experienced greater financial pressure and might rationalize taking what did not belong to them.

He said KMPG was seeing the three timeless fraud elements coincide – motive, opportunity, and rationalisation.

” The motivation can be anything, it can be undoubtedly financial issues, it can be the loss of a loved one, it can be lifestyle pressures.”

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He said Covid-19 had actually produced a chance for prospective scammers with the relaxation of typical working conditions.

” Workers who are working offsite, working from another location, using their own computers, preventing controls that otherwise may be in location.”

He said motive and chance intensified, leading individuals to rationalize scams.

Because the country entered into lockdown, there has actually been a large range of corrupt activity, Bell said.

” There’s been examples of frauds around the wage aid, around the Covid-19 relief loans and consumer financing.”

He said insurers had actually been concerned about increased claim volumes.

” They have actually been running tests to figure out whether there is a high volume of claims on private policies which has actually resulted in them identifying both externally perpetrated scams in addition to internal frauds by [businesses’] own employees.”

Bell said organisations needed to review their controls and the loopholes that were developed during the lockdown, as he expected fraudulent behaviour to increase as the recession set in.

He stated the government had already acknowledged the risk by increasing the Serious Scams Workplace’s budget by more than 20 percent to $127 million.

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