Economic crimes targeting businesses have risen to an all-time high in South Africa

It makes no difference whether you own a small business or a major corporation, employee theft is always going to be on the cards. Since the dawn of man, people have lied, cheated and stolen, and nothing’s changed.

It’s only the role of technology that’s changed how certain crimes are committed, but given how tech savvy many criminals are today, the losses businesses face in many areas is frightening.

No company can afford the kind of losses that are being experienced in business, and when figures like R1.2-million are being thrown around, on the heels of a surge in economic crime hitting the 77% mark since 2016, it’s time to become proactive about protection from these crimes.

Sadly, that leaves South Africa in first place in comparison with the global average rate of 49%.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, in their Global economic and fraud survey 2018 South Africa, two in every three organisations have been, and still are, victims of economic crime.

In this no company can afford to remain blissfully unaware, meaning that proactive steps need to be implemented in order to protect the interests of the business.

The same report states that on average, around 6% of executives didn’t even know whether their organisations were being affected by economic crime or not!

Every business in South Africa, whether it’s a small to medium business or a large corporation, will at some time experience white collar economic crime, internally and externally driven.

Up to 50% of economic crimes have been attributed to employees, meaning that ‘inside jobs’ are responsible for a major percentage of loss experienced by any company.

Types of fraud to be on the lookout for in your company

Accounting fraud

This involves an employee covering up money that’s missing, or covering the fact that goods are being stolen.

Asset misappropriation

Asset misappropriation is fraud at its very worst. Theft of money or goods, or finding ways to divert company money into the bank account of an employee has also hit an all-time high, all of which could cost any company millions of Rands every year.

Payroll fraud

All that an employee responsible for the payroll need do to line their own pockets, is to create a fictitious employee and then siphon that money into their own account.

Manipulating timesheets or inflating overtime is another way an employee can steal from the business, which is often the case when the employee in charge of the payroll has been with a company for many years and would be above suspicion.

Data theft

Losing valuable data such as sensitive databases containing customer details or falling victim to the theft of trade secrets are very expensive costs to carry.  This type of data theft is a very lucrative side-line for employees, especially with the increase in organised crime today.


Corruption is self-explanatory, and it happens more than is imagined. Whether it’s an employee accepting kickbacks to gain the advantage for certain clients of the business. There’s also a lot of money to be made off of false amounts on invoices from certain suppliers, either way, it’s the company that loses.

Working with King Investigators to combat economic crime

In light of the many different forms that exist in economic crimes, King Investigators have the experience to offer high level Business Intelligence Services to companies that range from small to medium businesses and up to major corporations.

As a trusted investigative firm in South Africa, King Investigators produce in-depth results from investigations into employee dishonesty and theft of products, right through to misappropriation of corporate assets, theft of trade secrets and internal or external embezzlements.

If you need a professional ally on your side to find those guilty of economic crimes in your business so that appropriate steps can be taken to stop small losses that become huge losses in a year, contact King Investigators for a confidential discussion about where to next.