Tuesday 22 October 2019

Fraud and cybercrime cost Irish businesses and State €3.5bn every year - expert

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Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Fraud and cybercrime are costing Irish businesses and the State an estimated €3.5bn every year, according to some of the world’s top experts in the field.

Dermot Shea, who is the Chief of Detectives with the NYPD, has said fraud on a global level is costing €3.7 trillion annually, a sum which is the equivalent to the combined GDP of the UK and Italy. 

Chief Shea, whose parents are Irish, is in charge of the NYPD's 6,000-strong Detective Bureau which investigates all major crimes in the city, including Wall Street investigations. 

In an interview with Independent.ie, the high-profile police officer said the law is often three times behind fraud and cyber criminals. 

"Due to the rapid expansion of technology, criminals are finding new ways to scam businesses and individuals from their hard-earned money. 

"It’s becoming so prevalent that it’s difficult to find anyone who hasn’t been impacted in some shape or form. 

"If you think you haven’t been impacted by cyber-crime then you’re just not aware of it.

"At times it seems we’re three steps behind these criminals as our current laws can often be restrictive in trying to investigate their methods."

Mr Shea added that strong alliances with law enforcements and private sectors across the globe is essential to combat crimes such as these. 

The Chief of Detectives will speak at the International Fraud Prevention Conference at the RDS today.

The conference, being opened by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, will focus on money laundering, insurance fraud and cybercrime. 

Chief Shea will be joined by a list of expert speakers including former High Court President Nicholas Kearns, Barry Galvin, founder of the CAB, and international money laundering expert Deirdre Carwood, of Deloitte.

Interpol estimates the value of fraud for the year up to May 2018 was €3.7 trillion. Globally, the banks are losing $100bn a year as a result of fraud and fines for not adhering to anti-fraud and money laundering legislation.

Separately, $2 trillion is laundered each year by terrorist and criminal organisations with the estimate that just 1pc of this is intercepted by law enforcement.

So-called Romance fraud, where people using dating sites are hacked is, according to a recent CNN report, costing at least $143m a year.

For more information on the International Fraud Prevention Conference, visit here

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