The Gulf countries have one of the highest fraud rates in the world. Most fraud cases are reported in the UAE followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to Daniel Turner who works for a global risk consultancy firm named Kroll. The countries in the gulf region's lack proper controls due to which an increasing number of fraud cases are reported every year.
A number of cases of fraud in the region have been uncovered in relation to the upcoming global events including the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the Expo 2020 in Dubai. With the control lax in the respective countries, experts state that we could see an increasing number of fraud cases in the coming years.
Of all the sectors, the highest incidence of the fraud is seen in the construction sector. According to a report by Kroll, more than 70 percent of executives in the sector have reported being a victim of a fraud in 2016. The report has stated that cybercrime is the most prevalent type of scam that accounts for about 77 percent of the cases in the construction sector. Other types of scams in the gulf countries include supplier, vendor, and procurement frauds that account for more than 28 percent of the cases.
Factors the Contribute Incidences of Fraud
The increased incidence of criminal cases in the gulf region is caused due to a number of factors. Some of the factors that result in increasing number of fraud cases include large infrastructure projects, aggressive expansion plan, lack of government control, and prevalence of cash transactions among businessmen.
According to an expert, the fraud cases are prevalent all over the world but not to the extent in the Middle East. They say that proliferation of big data and technology has given new opportunities for fraudsters to dupe people of their hard earned cash. Today cyber-related crimes are at an all-time high in the oil-rich country.
One risk management expert had stated that the lack of awareness, training, and audits are the main reason of frauds at such a high level in the UAE.
Poor controls in the region are encouraging increased number of cyber criminals to targets residents in the country. Most of the time the targets are expats who are not aware of the legal laws and standard business practices in the Middle Eastern countries. The result is that criminals are able to abscond with millions of consumers money without having to pay for their actions.
The fraud cases will likely increase in the coming years. Unless the government takes action by tightening controls over criminal activities, expats and foreign companies will continue to experience frauds and get robbed of their hard earned cash.