Ethical Performance
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KPMG warns fraudsters “getting younger”

September 2014

The profile of the typical fraudster has shifted from rogue senior executives to younger individuals funding extravagant lifestyles, finds KPMG’s latest Fraud Barometer.

Fraud cases totaled £317m in the first half of 2014, analysis of which shows that that frauds committed by those aged 26-35 were valued at just over £62m – an increase of 285% on the first half of 2013. At the same time, frauds committed by those aged 46 and over fell by 72% to £88m.

Hitesh Patel, UK Forensic Partner at the professional services company, commented: “Where once it was the jaded executive who relied on unquestioned seniority and authority to get away with dipping their hands in the till, it seems we are witnessing a changing of the guard.

“Today’s fraudster is younger and just at ease with using technology and data as selling promises. They rely on the assumption of the innocence of youth, whereas the reality is that many of these fraudsters are nothing more than a wolf in lamb’s clothing.
“It is important for UK organisations to recognise that youth doesn’t always equal innocence, as a confident and tech savvy generation comes through, adept at circumnavigating conventional controls and staying under the radar.”

While the value of fraud fell during the studied period, the number of cases remained constant.

KPMG warns that while this sounds like good news, history shows that fraudsters tend to start with smaller schemes, to test the system, with fraud value then increasing as their confidence grows if they are not caught.

KPMG | UK & NI Ireland | Fraud

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