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Deloitte releases its latest Fraud Survey for the Middle East

Almost half of respondents witnessed more fraudulent incidents than in previous years

14 November 2021 – Deloitte has just launched the Middle East Fraud Survey report, illustrating how organisations across the region have been affected by fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Over 100 anonymous respondents from a wide spectrum of industries in both the public and private sector participated in the digital questionnaire. The Deloitte survey explores the extent and various types of fraud, the impact of the global pandemic on fraud risks due to changes in the business environment and measures being taken to prevent, detect and respond to fraud.

“When the findings were compared to a similar survey conducted by Deloitte Middle East in 2010, there has been a change in the most prevalent types of fraud over the last decade. Theft of physical assets and misuse of information were the most pressing concerns in 2010 compared to the threat of new age technology fraud such as cyber-crime and financial misreporting today. More than two-thirds of the respondents felt that the current business and economic disruptions could increase fraud risk in their organisations over the next two years,” said Collin Keeney, Partner, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Middle East.

Key report highlights:

  • The survey indicates that 48% of participants have witnessed more fraudulent incidents this year compared to earlier years, and 35% felt it has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The top factors in the current business environment contributing to fraud were identified as dependency on technology and remote working.
  • Responses indicate that proactive awareness campaigns and training for employees on emerging fraud risks resulted in reduction of fraud. However, more than 50% of respondents highlighted that there is a limited understanding of emerging fraud risks in their organisations. These organisations often place reliance on traditional techniques, static data, and irregular modification of a
  • 55% of the respondents have a basic policy level fraud risk framework such as anti-fraud, code of conduct and anti-bribery and corruption policies. Though they lacked other necessary elements such as periodic training, senior management reporting, periodic fraud risk assessment and dedicated anti-fraud
  • 41% of the companies do not have a dedicated fraud risk management and investigation team and feel that the current fraud risk framework is not adequate to prevent and mitigate the risk of future fraud. Furthermore, the respondents are not aware of risks pertaining to their industry and the best practices to be followed.
  • While there is a concern about the lack of fraud management preparedness across organisations, there has been instances where internal and external collaborations have driven and enhanced the effectiveness of organisations’ fraud risk management efforts.

Keeney commented, “Having the benefit of a 10-year comparison, we have identified insightful observations on fraud risk maturity trends.  What we can see is a broad increase in the baseline readiness of organisations in the region. Significantly more organisations report having put in place the key components such as developing fraud management policies, whistleblower hotlines, and conducting fraud risk assessments.  However, quite a number of respondents report a certain ambivalence in the effectiveness of these baseline efforts.”

“Contrast this with the satisfaction reported by organisations who have made investments into vanguard areas like anti-fraud technology and you reach a key take-away: the efficacy of baseline efforts is negligible if they are only done on paper and not followed up with further action. The real effectiveness gains are experienced when the organisation moves beyond the paper, into detailed controls testing, revision and enhancement of controls, follow-up with audits and then into more proactive, ongoing monitoring of fraud risks.” 

To download the full report, please click here.

If you would like to discuss the findings in more detail, please reach out to our dedicated team:

Collin Keeney, Partner, Deloitte Middle East

Prabodh Newar, Deloitte Middle East 

Press contact

Nadine El Hassan
Public Relations Regional Leader
Deloitte Middle East
Tel: +961 (0) 1 748444

Click here for the Arabic version

About Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) LLP:

Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) LLP (DME) is the affiliate for the territories of the Middle East and Cyprus of Deloitte NSE LLP (“NSE”), a UK limited liability partnership and member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”).

DME is a leader in professional services with uninterrupted presence in the Middle East since 1926 with 26 offices in 14 countries and around 5,000 partners, directors and staff. DME’s presence in the Middle East and Cyprus is established through its affiliated independent legal entities, which are licensed to operate and to provide services under the applicable laws and regulations of the relevant country. DME’s affiliates and related entities cannot oblige each other and/or DME, and when providing services, each affiliate and related entity engages directly and independently with its own clients and shall only be liable for its own acts or omissions and not those of any other affiliate.


About Deloitte:

Deloitte refers to one or more of DTTL, its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities, which cannot obligate or bind each other in respect of third parties. DTTL and each DTTL member firm and related entity is liable only for its own acts and omissions, and not those of each other. DTTL, NSE and DME do not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more.

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