Matric certificate fraud shock in SA

One of the common struggles all companies share is acquisition of the right personnel – whether the individual has the right personality, background and professional ethic for the position.

And while qualifications carry weight, forgery and faked references are a reality of the cyber-savvy times we inhabit, according to LexisNexis.

And once individuals are inside a company, there is still the risk of them misusing their access to company information, processes or assets, the provider of governance, risk and compliance solutions said.

Nowhere is this more relevant than PricewaterhouseCoopers 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey, which indicates that when it comes to committing economic crimes… South Africa is ahead of the curve.

The latest edition of the biennial Global Economic Crime Survey showed the level at which this form of crime currently occurs within the country’s borders, is nearly double that of our international counterparts – both within the continent and outside of it.

Globally, 6,337 participants in 115 countries were interviewed for the analysis – 232 of which were South African-based, senior-level management from varying industry sectors.

More than one third (36%) of organisations have experienced economic crime in the past 24 months, and PwC says the situation has reached “pandemic level” with in the country.

According to LexisNexis South Africa, company detection methods were not keeping pace with the advances in economic crime.

“The PwC survey showed that almost half the incidents of serious economic crimes were perpetrated by internal parties and that regulatory compliance is often an added source of stress and burden to companies,” said Rudi Kruger, LexisNexis’ GRC division GM said.

In fact the financial cost of each fraud is on the rise. Globally asset misappropriation was the most pervasive form of economic crime, at 64%, followed by cybercrime which jumped from 24% in the 2014 survey to 32% in the 2016 report.

Bribery and corruption was slightly down from 27% to 24% globally, procurement fraud was at 23%, human resource fraud at 12% and money laundering at 11%.

Kruger said human resource fraud had flourished within South Africa, particularly qualifications fraud.

“Our own RefCheck data shows qualifications fraud is the biggest HR fraud concern. A quarter of all matric certificates cannot be confirmed by us. One in 15 tertiary qualifications could not be confirmed due to invalid data, incomplete courses or no record of candidate. A third of all global qualifications checked through RefCheck Advanced could not be verified,” he said.

In the PwC survey more than two thirds of those who reported human resources fraud attributed this to false qualifications being submitted by potential employees.

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Matric certificate fraud shock in SA