Fraud is a global problem and estimated cost to New Zealand businesses and government agencies close to $6 billion a year. Fraud can occur in any business no matter its size. Business Fraud occurs through poor internal controls and failure on the organisation to have robust processes and structures in place allowing opportunities for persons particularly in roles of financial responsibility steal.
Fraud can ruin a company and it is essential that organisations and companies protect themselves from it.
Individuals can be victims of fraud by being deceived or duped by receiving false information or provided with false documents and acting on it leading to a financial loss.
An example of an internal control would be ensuring that there is segregation of duties with your financial accounts to ensure that receipt and payment of accounts are monitored and not left under the control of one individual person.
Our Fraud Investigation Services – Uncover the Truth
Omega Investigations have a team of skilled fraud investigators, we analyse documents including bank statements, false documents, gather evidence from sources such as paper documents, computers including cloud-based data, interview witnesses and take statements.
Our fraud investigators are able to analyse large amounts of information and identify anomalies to lead to the identification of the particular fraud.
No fraud is too big or small for our investigators.
Examples can be business frauds where invoices have been falsified, over-payment of funds, by an accounts person, false invoicing including procurement fraud.
We have the capability of cloning or imaging computer data using forensic tools, analysing hundreds of thousands of pieces of information using specific software to gather evidence.
One of our key goals in undertaking fraud investigations is to satisfy the needs of our client whether it is prosecution or recovery of funds.
It is important at any early stage to undertake an asset search on the perpetrators to establish whether they have assets that can be frozen or seized. It may be that the assets are held by a related person such as a wife or family member, hidden in a trust either a corporate business trust or family trust.
We work with forensic accountants, computer forensic experts and where appropriate lawyers to obtain and secure evidence, seize assets and prosecute when necessary.
We have a global network of associates and can trace assets in many parts of the world including money and assets hidden in tax havens.
We can search for assets directly in New Zealand and have a full time investigator based in Australia enabling us to search many databases for information.
Our investigators are highly experienced former UK or New Zealand Police Detectives and they are at the top of their field.
Experts in Detecting and Investigating Fraud
Our fraud investigation services are conducted by highly skilled professionals who are ex-New Zealand or UK Detectives. We recover lost funds and provide counter-fraud advice to minimise losses. Our consultants have helped many of our clients in locating assets and recovering funds, thereby limiting losses and damages.
Protecting the business from private sector fraud should be one of the company’s biggest priorities, as it can come from multiple sources. It is difficult to anticipate and block all potential incidents of fraud, but there are many ways companies can protect their business.
Omega Investigations regularly work for government agencies and local government bodies, where a high level of aptitude, expertise and discretion is required in handling sometimes complex matters.
Examples of Fraud Cases:
- Company employee booking up product from a supplier and used the product for his own gain.
- Accountant in a major commercial company falsifying invoices to ensure funds from the company are paid directly into his own personal bank accounts.
- Company accountant having total control over all accounting functions and processes to such an extent that he was able to monitor each and every email to and from managers and staff.
- Email scammers obtain the password of an accounts employee within a large organisation; they then used the password to gain access to company bank information culminating in the transfer of large amounts of funds amounting to over $½ million to overseas bank accounts.
- Employee theft, employee worked in a bar and restaurant, was stealing cash from till and falsifying receipts.
- General Manager of a company where absent owners lived in Australia and he operated the New Zealand entity. Falsified accounts and redirected funds into a number of his own accounts, we were able to identify all his bank accounts and funds contained in those accounts and recover over $½ million in cash from those accounts.
- Company director falsified lines of credit to obtain credit from a trading bank.
- Insurance fraud involving the recovery of $400,000 worth of unique jewellery stolen from a burglary Herne Bay, Auckland.
Current Fraud Scams
- Phishing – Phishing attacks use ‘spoof’ emails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank and other account usernames and passwords. By hijacking the trusted brands of well-known banks, online retailers and credit card companies. Scammers obtained the password of accounts person and used to gain access to company accounts and authorities allowing the transfer of funds to various false banks accounts.
- Investment Fraud – High yield investments have become more common to fraudsters. They may include shares, undeveloped land, wine and collectables such as art or classic cars.
Share purchase known as Boiler Room where a fake company offers a unique guaranteed opportunity are common globally and a known scheme targeting New Zealanders particularly the older generation who have money to invest.
- False Invoices – Creating false invoices, directing payment to a bank account that the fraudster controls, in some cases coding the name to a genuine creditor.
- Email Scams – Email scams are becoming far more prevalent and more ingenious. We started with the original ‘Nigerian scam’ although that is now well recognised by most.
Scammers have now become more ingenious by not only blatantly asking for funds to be transferred to accounts but setting up elaborate stories with an element of truth. If you are suspicious about an email scam contact Omega Investigations.
- Employee Frauds – Employee frauds can be generally small in dollar value but can amount to large overall thefts when there are many of them. These can be in the form of expense claims or theft of time. One of the biggest problems facing employers are employees moving to rival organisations and stealing intellectual property which can damage or destroy a business.
Contact Omega Investigations and we can provide you with some simple steps to help protect your business against Fraud.