Fraud Basics

Group dynamics can breed reluctant fraudsters

Once fraud becomes part of an organization’s culture, it can spread and affect employees like a virus. But why would persons with apparently high ethical standards transform into fraudsters? And how can we counteract these fraud viruses?

People inside and outside an organization hit by fraud often ask themselves how it was even possible that a huge fraud scheme was able to flourish unnoticed. We might think that all those involved in the scheme must be ruthless, greedy and outright bad. However, we can find additional possible incentives than greed for fraudsters to commit crimes.

Is your organization a ‘garbage dump’?

Our surroundings often influence our unconscious behaviors. Maybe you’ve had this experience at home. If your apartment or house is clean, you’re more willing to invest time and effort to keep it that way than when it’s been a mess for a while. For example, let’s say your domicile is spotless. You then prepare a meal, and the oven gets dirty. You feel the urge to clean up the oven immediately. Why is that?

Now, maybe the others you might be living with don’t share the same cleanliness standards. They leave their socks on the floor and don’t clean up their dirty dishes. And so, your home progressively (or regressively) changes from super clean to a little bit unkempt to certifiably messy. The next time the oven is dirty, you don’t seem to have the inner need to clean up the oven immediately. Maybe you’ve even lowered your standards of what you perceive as clean.


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