Latvian residents are invited to participate in the anti-fraud movement #FraudOff! 30/03/2017
To combine efforts in the fight against the grey economy, corruption and other fraudulent activities affecting the state budget and the overall welfare of the society, the state administration implements the social information campaign also known as the anti-fraud movement – #FraudOff! The long-term goal of the movement is to achieve a zero tolerance of the population towards the fraud in our country.
The idea of the campaign is based on the combinations of efforts of public administration institutions, businessmen, social partners, as well as any member of the society in the fight against fraud. The campaign focuses on the preventive measures, including promotion of public awareness of the grey economy, fraud and their negative consequences for each individual and the general prosperity of the country. In addition, the campaign focuses on and explains the possibilities to turn to the relevant law enforcement authorities if one has suspicions or knows about a specific case of fraud.
"Fraud occurs in our daily life in different ways and has become part of the daily routine or events, which tends to slip by without significant visibility or action. Perhaps, it is because both the state budget and the European Union (EU) budget seem intangible compared to the personal purse and its content. However, it is also our money, and each of us should take a small part of the responsibility in its protection, voicing aloud – if you are not honest, stop the fraud!” emphasises Nata Lasmane, Head of the Anti-Fraud Coordination Service (AFCOS) of the Ministry of Finance, Head of the EU Funds Audit Department.
Ilze Cīrule, Director General of the SRS: "Fraud, especially in the field of taxation, is very hard-fought, if the society sees it as a self-evident phenomenon. We need everyone to understand that with every product and every service that we receive with no invoice, we rob ourselves, our family and the country in the long term.”
"Honest attitude and behaviour of the society is the key to success in the fight with the shadow economy and corruption, as well as in raising the level of national prosperity. This is why it is so important to ensure that each individual's attitude towards fraud in all its forms is judgmental because this fight can bring positive change just by changing the way of thinking”, emphasises Pēteris Bauska, Head of the Economic Crime Bureau of the State Police Central Criminal Police Department.
The survey "Attitude of the residents of Latvia towards unfair actions" carried out this March has found that the fraud problem in the Latvian society is very urgent. 65.8% of the respondents admit that, in their view, the state has a high overall level of unfairness. The respondents say that the main problem in Latvia is spread of alcohol and cigarette smuggling – 50.2% and 50.9% of the respondents think so, respectively. In turn, 29.6% of the respondents consider sale of counterfeit clothing and footwear as a significant problem in Latvia. These are also the sectors in which the Latvian people have encountered unfair practices most of all over the last three years.
This is the first time when more than 20 governmental institutions and partners have united in a common anti-fraud initiative #FraudOff! Among them – the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Welfare, the State Revenue Service, the State Police, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the Competition Council, the State Border Guard, the Food and Veterinary Service, the Procurement Monitoring Bureau, the Security State Agency, the Patent Office, the Prosecution Office of the Republic of Latvia, the Consumer Rights Protection Centre, the Rural Support Service, the Central Finance and Contracting Agency, the Bank of Latvia, ad others as well as the Association "Sabiedrība par atklātību – Delna".
The anti-fraud movement brings together organisations that care about the fairness in our country and are ready to join hands to fight for it and to involve the entire society of Latvia in this fight. This is the first year when, in accordance with the Operational Strategy 2017–2019 of the EU's Coordination Service (AFCOS) for Financial Interests Protection, an initiative has been started by the Latvian law enforcement institutions, combining efforts in the fight against fraud and promotion of the public education.
How to get involved in the movement
All Latvian citizens, businesses and organizations are invited to participate in the anti-fraud movement – through the commitment to act in good faith in everyday life and not to stand aside and report of detected fraudulent actions. Similarly, supporters of the movement are invited to use the campaign brand in everyday communication. On the website of the anti-fraud movement www.atkrapies.lv, it is possible to download the campaign posters, visual materials for websites and social networks, as well as to apply for a special sticker that can be placed on a door of a company, institution or store. Also, the residents are encouraged to use the hashtags #atkrāpies! or #fraudoff!
The organisers emphasise that the movement brand will not serve as a quality mark, but rather will demonstrate the organisation’s or person’s negative attitude towards fraudulent activities. For traders, it is also an opportunity to show that they sell original, not counterfeit, products.
So far, the movement has involved dozens of companies, brands and organisations, including "Zepter", "Mēness aptieka", "Draugiem.lv", "XS rotaļlietas", "Geox", the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks, "Liviko", Riga Central Market, and others.
#FraudOff! is an anti-fraud movement, which brings together the Latvian authorities that fight against fraud in various fields and forms, as well as all Latvian citizens and organisations that strongly advocate against fraud. You can find more information and join the movement on www.atkrapies.lv.
#atkrāpies! ("fraud off!") is a neologism which is formed by replacing the prefix ne- with the prefix at- which indicates that the action is directed back or aside. The exclamation mark shows that the verb is in the imperative form. The neologism "fraud off!" is a call to resist and prevent fraud. It can also be used for calls, for example, If you are not honest, fraud off! In English, the name of the movement is #FraudOff!
Next month, all the organisations involved in the movement will spread information, educating the society about the damage of fraud and providing practical tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraudsters and not to purchase counterfeit goods. In cooperation with the shopping centre "Riga Plaza", an exhibition was created within the framework of the campaign, which can be attended from 31 March to 2 May to thoroughly familiarize oneself with different types of fraud.
Ministry of Finance
Director of Communications Department
Tel. +371 67083850
State Revenue Service
Head of Public Relations Department
Tel. +371 67122668
Head of Public Relations Department
Tel. +371 27891986