As one would expect, given its secretive nature, fraud and corruption costs are difficult to calculate. The most commonly cited estimate is the World Bank’s $1 trillion lost to fraud and bribery alone in 2013 on a global basis (3% of Global GDP).
The world economic forum has estimated that fraud and corruption cost 5% of Global GDP annually. The African Union believed in 2005 that it cost this continent approximately $150 billion alone in squandered wealth. In South-Africa the cost to the state can be assumed to be many billions of Rand with private sector fraud, scams & corruption calculated to cost the economy anywhere between R50 billion and R150 billion Rand.
These figures include all forms of 419 scams, fraud and corruption in South-Africa. (Take note there are different variances of 419 in SA). Scams on social media Platforms like: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Messenger, Hangout and online dating site.
It is estimated that fraud in South-Africa could justify a special unit with SAPS and the Hawks to deal specifically with this crime. The greatest challenge to the work being done is that there is not a clear understanding of the total impact it has on the growth of the economy.
Most of the men and women who are scammed are taxpaying citizens who are actively part of the economy. Due to the nature of scamming, the economy is robbed of their contribution which often has a spill-over effect times five- as five jobs are directly and indirectly affected by the loss of income once these men & women lose their financial resources. The skills pool is also affected as these men and women in the majority of cases withdrawn from their active involvement in the economy due to the damage done to their self-esteem.