Most people are very surprised at the facts and figures relating to frauds that are carried out.

The information below is based on real data provided by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners through its world-wide networks.

  • The most common red flags exhibited by fraudsters (not exhaustive) are living beyond their means, experiencing financial difficulties, control issues, unwillingness to share duties, unwillingness to take time off, and close association with customers and/or suppliers
  • The effect of fraud on small businesses and organisations is disproportionally far greater than on larger businesses and organisations
  • On average frauds continue for an average of 18 months before discovery
  • Some frauds are not uncovered for many years and some will never be discovered
  • Fraud can result in the winding up of a business or in bankruptcy
  • Most frauds are discovered by tip-offs
  • Most tip-offs come from employees
  • Confidential internal and external hotlines are the most effective tool in combating fraud
  • Most fraudsters do not have previous convictions
  • The majority of frauds relate to asset misappropriation
  • Anti-fraud policies and systems reduce fraud considerably
  • Many business owners (dangerously) view their annual audit as a fraud check
  • Approximately 2/3 of fraudsters are men and 1/3 are women
  • Approximately 40% of fraudsters are aged between 36 and 45
  • Approximately 70% of fraudsters are aged between 31 and 50
  • Approximately 70% of frauds are committed by people with degrees or college education
  • Approximately 67% of all frauds occur in accounting, operations, sales, and senior management sectors of businesses and organisations
  • The largest average frauds are committed by people aged >60 years old
  • 95% of employee frauds are committed by people who have been employed for more than 1 year.
  • 45% of employee frauds are committed by people who have been employed for between 1 and 5 years

Source ACFE Report to the Nations 2014