The aim of this research is to bring to light the hidden importance of fraud in today's business environment from a financial institution's perspective. Within any form of business, fraud is looked upon as the greatest hidden threat that can affect the success of a business. It is known to have had detrimental effects upon whole organisations and yet because there usually isn't any physical crime being committed but rather paper-based transactions, it can largely go unnoticed unless the proper controls are in place to monitor such activity. Fraud can exist in all shapes and forms from employee fraud 10 cyber fraud, from management fraud to external fraud. Due to fraud being such a wide-ranging topic, the aim of this research is to concentrate primarily on the area of external fraud i.e. consumer and company fraud that pose a threat to organisations on a daily basis. Though other types of fraud exist such as internal/ employee fraud, in order to keep within the realms of this dissertation, the stated subject area shall be solely concentrated upon in order to give a greater understanding of the issues at hand. For the purposes of consistency, it is intended to look at fraud from a financial institution's perspective. The institution used is GECW (GE Capital Woodchester Ltd.). GECW is over twenty-five years old and was previously known as Woodchester Credit Lyonnais Ltd. Before it was taken over by GE Capital in 1997, a subsidiary of the largest organisation in the world General Electric. It has eleven branches across Ireland and employs approximately five hundred staff. Its Primarily specialises in auto, commercial, and consumer finance across the loan, hire purchase and leasing industry. It is intended to identify the measures used in today's business environment to combat the growth of fraud. Some company's go to great lengths to eliminate fraud while others, though seeing it as a threat, always promise to combat it but usually end up picking up the pieces after the crime has been committed. By the end of this dissertation, it is intended to highlight the various external types of fraud that haunt financial institutions and identify best ways currently available in the market to combat it. This shall then be followed by a structured Fraud Prevention Plan that any organisation can use as a template to initiate and exercise within its own walls in a quick and easy to use format. The detection and prevention of fraud is essential to the future of everyday business in all fields. Its growth will only spur a lack of trust and confidence in all business sectors and it is for this reason that every effort should be taken to reduce it as much as possible.