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Accurate and honest declarations

Published on 22 January 2020

Deterrence

The principle of deterrence should be designed into any process where an applicant can gain financially, or otherwise, from acceptance of their application. This gain could be for themselves or another person, and could be done by providing false information or by omitting relevant information. A deterrent message can be communicated by the organisation through a range of messages and control measures. The following are examples:

  • Stating clearly on forms, websites and leaflets the consequences of the applicant failing to provide complete and accurate information on their application and throughout the application process.
  • Informing the applicant that the information they provide will be subjected to a verification process to confirm its accuracy.
  • Including a counter-fraud declaration (CIMA, 2009).

In this long established view from the field of criminology these measures deter the fraudster by amplifying the likelihood and consequences of discovery. This was thought effective on the assumption that prior to making a false statement the fraudster would rationalise the risk of discovery and severity of punishment against the pressure (financial or otherwise) that motivates them to consider the fraud worthwhile and, in their minds, justifiable (Cressey, 1953).