“Fraud is a global Pandemic – Report it.” BBC Breakfast interview with Advisory Board Member David Clarke

Director of the Fraud Advisory Panel and Today Advisory Board Member David Clarke was interviewed by Ben Thompson on BBC Breakfast this morning to discuss the publishing of KPMG’s Fraud Barometer.

Ben Thompson highlighted some of the statistics in the report: “[Fraud] cost Britain £1 billion last year, which is more than double the previous year…The number of cases has fallen by a third; it’s actually that the cost of each case has risen sharply, so every time it happens it’s costing us more. That is largely due to cybercrime, which has risen by more than 1000% and now costs £124 million [a year].”

David Clarke, of Today Advisory, said he wasn’t surprised with the statistics, and was “pleased to be seeing reports about the nature and the extent of the problem.”

Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary reported last week that fraud in the UK is ‘epidemic’. The Fraud Advisory Panel – we’d agree with that. I’d say it goes further: fraud is a global problem. It’s a pandemic that we need to address.”

These cyber[crime] figures – yes they’re worrying – but a lot of these reports use ‘cyber’” to make the threat sound novel. “Criminals have always used the tools [that are available to them], they’ve simply found new ways to con people.”

This is a global pandemic, an illness we need to treat urgently.”

Education about fraud and encouraging reporting on incidences of fraud are the best ways to combat the issue, David continued.

“The Panel have said, for a long time: we’ve got to encourage reporting.”

There are people that say to me: ‘Well, the police won’t do anything.’”

It’s not always about an immediate response to the incident; it’s about being aware of it and the overall scale of the problem. “When you’ve got a serious illness you go to the doctor, when you’ve got a serious crime, you report it.”

Now, what is reassuring is people are coming forward, we’re finding firms [coming forward]. Our message is: ‘Disclose. Report.’”

We’ve seen one of our great brands Rolls Royce embroiled in an awful situation. Many companies, however, are trying to do their best in business. [When] they become targets for fraud, they can go to the police, they can go to the authorities, and they can disclose.”

So I find it very reassuring that companies are coming forward and they’re disclosing this, because then we can start to understand it and act on it. Get these people and these kinds of cases before the courts.”