Businesses incur significant expenditures as a result of occupational fraud, which is committed by people who have certain qualities and behavior patterns. Despite the epidemic, occupational scams have plagued businesses for ages. Be out for warning signs.
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Report for 2022 on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, U.S. firms lose 5% of their yearly profits to fraud, which can range from false financial reporting to the misappropriation of organizational resources. The average loss from crime was $117,000, with invoicing fraud and corruption being the most frequent types of fraud. A whopping 85% of con artists have similar personality features and behavioral habits.
Officials and coworkers are able to recognize scammers’ warning indicators. Living over one’s means and having financial issues are two extremely prevalent warning signs, according to ACFE. Other red flags include:
- Insoluble Family Problems
- Control Issues
- Bullying /Intimidating Behavior
- Evasive / Defensive Behavior
- Wheeler-dealer attitudes
- Over-familiarity with Vendors / Customers
- Addiction /Substance Abuse
Additional surveillance is required if individuals in risky situations engage in any of the suspicious behaviors on this list, although such behavior is not evidence of a person’s propensity for fraud.
Typical Traits of Fraudsters
In addition to behavioral red flags, the ACFE 2022 Report evaluated the following characteristics of fraudsters:
Males committed 73% of fraud cases in America, and their median loss was 25% more than that of females, maybe because they occupy more management and executive-level jobs, which provide them more possibilities to perpetrate serious fraud. The median losses suffered by male and female offenders at the staff level, however, are almost identical.
According to the data, fraudsters between the ages of 31 and 45 are involved in 54% of reported cases. Age and loss amount have a substantial correlation, although fraudsters over the age of 60 saw median losses that were more than twice as high as those of other age groups.
Individuals who attended or graduated from college accounted for 65% of reported scams, and they also had significantly higher median losses. Staff members with college degrees stole an average of $150,000, more than double the amount stolen by con artists without a college degree.
There is a direct association between the length of employment with a firm and the onset of employee theft. Due to their awareness of organizational controls’ procedural weaknesses over time, employees who had been with the company for a longer period of time committed frauds with higher losses per event.
Staff and management are responsible for more than 75% of scams. Owners and executives only conduct 24% of frauds, yet the stated median losses are still more than six times what staff members steal.
No prior record
The majority of the scams that were recorded included criminals with no prior criminal history. This doesn’t imply that the fraudster is using this sort of method for the first time; rather, it only means that it has been discovered again.
Less than 50% of recorded incidents were lone criminals. Additionally, the number of culprits rose when collaboration occurred, increasing the median losses. That makes sense since internal controls are lost when employees work together to commit fraud.
Be alert without overlooking frequent behaviors by fraudsters’
Occupational fraud puts all businesses at risk for losses, and it won’t just stop happening. Since successful fraud protection programs need understanding what to look for with warning indications, digging to obtain evidence if fraud is suspected, and taking prompt follow-up action following fraud detection, all firms should monitor behavioral red flags.