Say goodbye to prejudices! The fraudster is not always who you expect. Those who commit crimes within companies are not workers but executives. This is what a recent study conducted by KPMG found. Portrait of the fraudster in a business
The KPMG International Group has conducted a study “Global profiles of the fraudster: White-collar crime – present and future” on economic crimes committed worldwide, including Canada. It analyzed data relating to 596 fraudsters who committed crimes in 78 countries and focused on the link between the characteristics of fraudsters, their motivations and the context in which they develop. It provides the typical portrait of the Canadian fraudster in businesses, a surprising profile.
The Canadian fraudster
The Canadian crook is between 36 and 45 years old and holds a job within management, the finance department or operation of a business. He is an executive with the status of manager or director at a high level in the hierarchy. He has worked in the company for more than six years and has perpetrated his frauds over a period ranging between one and five years.
The opportunist crook
Three profiles of a fraudster are identified in the study. The first is the opportunist. This person has a responsible position and benefits from his employer’s confidence. He is generally a married man, father of a family, plagued with financial difficulties which he conceals and plans to settle with the money. The fraud committed is his first crime which, when it is revealed, surprises his entourage who did not suspect him of anything.
The predatory criminal
The second composite sketch drawn by the study is that of the predator. He acts knowingly. He is seeking a job in a company where he knows he can quickly carry out his plans. His fraud is therefore deliberate and premeditated. A profile that is relatively rare in Canada, the predatory fraudster feels little remorse for his wrongdoings.
The conman accomplice
Rarer in Canada than in other countries, the fraudster who has used an accomplice nonetheless represents more than 50% of Canadian con artists. He usually works with accomplices who are also employed within the company. Regardless of the characteristics of those who commit them, most frauds are diversions of funds or supplies, with the latter being the most common.
The criminal of tomorrow
According to the survey, fraudsters know how to take advantage of technology to accomplish their misdeeds. The new generation of crooks has more information and tools than the preceding one. The Internet and smart devices have therefore profoundly changed the modus operandi of fraudsters. The study points out that organizations must be aware of both the risk that these new technologies bring and their benefit for combating fraud. Canadian companies must in the end take more preventive measures.