What does the typical company fraudster look like?

The average company fraudster is male, aged between 36 and 55, holds a senior role and is trusted and liked by colleagues, new research would suggest.

Technology is the Achilles heel in the fight against fraud, KPMG said. Picture: Craig Stephen

Technology is also proving business’ Achilles heel in the fight against fraud, according to the findings of the KPMG study. While a quarter of fraudsters use technology to rip off companies, just 3 per cent of businesses detected illegal behaviour using data analytics.

The research also found that nearly a quarter of technology-enabled frauds were caught accidentally, demonstrating companies are failing to harness new methods of fraud detection.

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Drop in value of large-scale fraud cases

Ken Milliken, head of forensic for KPMG in Scotland, said: “As technology becomes more advanced, so too do the schemes to use it maliciously.

“And while it’s clear fraudsters are all too comfortable using technology to perpetrate fraud, we are seeing little evidence companies are doing the same in response to prevent it.

“A shockingly small number of organisations have invested in threat-monitoring systems and data analytics, which can shift through data looking for suspicious items and help businesses uncover and question anomalous or suspicious behaviour.”

The most common white collar fraud was the misappropriation of assets – embezzlement and procurement fraud – committed by almost half of the fraudsters investigated by KPMG. Only 45 per cent of female scammers colluded with others compared to 66 per cent of males.