Law firm Werksmans director David Loxton says that incidents of fraud during the FIFA World Cup are likely to grow significantly as increased numbers of foreign visitors enter the country.
He says that tourists, as well as South African residents, should be protected from fraud and scams.
The risk of credit card theft, FIFA World Cup ticket ‘scalping’, the sale of counterfeit goods and automatic teller machine fraud are some of the major risks that may take place during this time. Loxton explains that it is critical for soccer lovers to decrease the threat of becoming a victim of these types of crime, and for the private sector to raise awareness on this issue, such as hotels and guest houses warning guests to be alert, or for the use of pamphlets explaining the dangers of fraud.
He says that the incidents of fraud are not likely to decrease at the end of the FIFA World Cup, adding that there is potential for businesses that experienced a loss during the FIFA World Cup to resort to criminal activities out of desperation to stay afloat once tourists leave South Africa.
Loxton says that it is a challenge to convince companies to take preventive measures to avoid white-collar crime before it happens.
He explains that many companies believe that they will not fall victim to fraud, making them unwilling to spend money on the necessary preventive measures.
“It is an ongoing challenge to change this mindset, but this is something that needs to change. Fraud is also a difficult charge to prove and large-scale incidents of fraud are time-consuming and costly to prosecute. Companies should remember that prevention is easier and cheaper than cure,” he adds.
Loxton says that there is also a lack of enforcement of South Africa’s legislation against commercial crime, which is said to be among the best in the world, and this adds to the challenge of white-collar crime.