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How honest do you think you are? Are you someone who tells the truth or do you try to see what you can get away with by lying?

Fraud Facts

The word 'Fraud" means "wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain." So it's basically about doing wrong things (like stealing) to get money or get things.

A report in 2011 said that fraud costs the UK economy £38 billion a year. According to a BBC report, the National Fraud Authority (NFA) said that if the total cost was broken down, every UK adult would be £765 worse off. So that means in 2011 that each person would have been at least £765 better off without all the stealing. The Cabinet Office minister at the time called Francis Maude said the £21bn cost of public sector fraud could pay for 800 secondary schools or 615,000 nurses!

Source: (accessed 21 March 2016)

Another report called 'The Financial Cost of Fraud', released in February 2015 said that UK businesses and organisations are losing an estimated £98.6 billion to fraud and mistakes every year. It also found that self-interest was to blame for an 18 per cent fraud increase in 2012-13 compared to 2010-11. £2.8 trillion is lost globally to fraud and mistakes. The research was done by the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies and accountancy firm, PKF Littlejohn.

The vast majority of those stealing and committing fraud do it simply to get more for themselves - being greedy. It's not done because they are poor. In fact this kind of crime robs money and resources from the poor.

Source: (accessed 21 March 2016)

Three Experiments to see how honest people are

1 - A test many years ago placed some money in a telephone box. (Yes, it's true - people haven't always had mobile phones! Amazing huh?!) People using the telephone box who took the money and walked away had an actor come up to them and ask if they had found any money in the telephone box. Most people said no. The people running the experiment did the same thing again but when the person left the telephone box, the person who asked if they'd found any money just lightly touched their arm as they asked the question. Most people said yes they had found some money and gave it back!

2 - In another test in the USA, a large sum of money was put on a sidewalk. Most people took the money for themselves. Each time they were stopped by someone who was part of the team running the experiment. Around 8 in 10 people took the money for themselves. Each time, the person who took the money was asked by the experiment team why they had walked off with the money. In almost every case, the person said it' was because they thought no-one was watching them. So they took the money because they thought they would get away with it.

3 - The final experiment was done by Newcastle University where they put an honesty box next to people when having drinks. An honesty box is where people are encouraged to put in the money for an item instead of paying for it. The experiment found that when they put a picture of a pair of eyes on the honesty box, people paid three times as much money into the honesty box.

True Story

On one trip to Canada, I got my money exchanged in a Canadian bank. I took too much money with me and didn't realise until the day before I went home that they had given me way too much money. Instead of giving me some $10 bills, they'd actually given me $100 dollar bills. So the next day on the way to the airport (and against the advice of my friend!) I went back to the bank and gave them the money and they exchanged it. The manager of the bank was speechless, before hugging me and giving me a lollipop as a reward. They wanted to do more but I had a plane to catch! I don't regret doing this at all. You can never lose out in the end by doing what is right.

Better To Give Than Receive (or Steal!)

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The Bible

God said to his people this, "Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt."

The Bible also says: "Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right."

So the Bible tells us that being honest is a good thing. The Bible isn't a rule book telling you how to behave - it's a guide that helps you live the best kind of life possible.

So here's some good reasons not to steal:

1. You won't get a criminal record. Did you know you can't go to the USA with a criminal record? Being honest saves you all the hassle of arrest, being charged or warned by the police.

2. If you steal, you put up prices for everyone. People who nick things mean that everyone else has to pay for what has been stolen. This means higher prices for food, higher insurance prices and less money to spend on things we need as a country. If you want to help people, don't steal.

3. There is something very rewarding about doing work and being paid for it. It's actually what God intended because it makes people better people and gives them value.

4. The final reason is that you can't take money with you when you die! The Bible tells us that we shouldn't just think about ourselves and what we can get - but think about other people and how we can help them. The Bible says don't try to store up loads of riches where people can steal them or they'll just wear out. Instead, think about giving money. It's actually far more rewarding to give money - as we've seen from Undercover Boss!


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