Fraud in Australia is surging, warns KPMG

Fraud in Australia is surging, warns KPMG

KPMG research has revealed a large rise in the value of fraudulent crime being committed in Australia.

The research showed that for the period September 2015 to March 2016, 116 frauds occurred, with a value of $381.1 million – an average value per fraud of $3.3 million.

This compares with 91 frauds with a value of $128.4 million, at an average value per fraud of $1.4 million, for the previous six-month period.

Interestingly, 26 per cent of frauds used technology to enable the fraud in the latest barometer results, including spoofed emails and online identity theft. This compares with 24 per cent of fraudsters using technology on a global level.

The head of forensic at KPMG Australia, Gary Gill, warned cyber crime is on the rise and Australian must be vigilant.

"We are seeing an alarming increase in the number of spoofed emails, which are often addressed to senior finance personnel, purportedly from someone in the C suite, with instructions to transfer large sums of money into bank accounts," Mr Gill warned.

"We are finding that clients under-estimate the threat from the malicious insider when it comes to cyber crime, and as a result they are not paying sufficient attention to the basics. Identity and access control is often weak, and organisations often don’t understand where their critical IP assets are located and who in the organisation has access to them."

Other key findings include the following:

  • The most common perpetrators are business 'insiders', with frauds attributable to management averaging $5.7 million – over double that of non-management employees.
  • Gender diversity among fraudsters is changing – the proportion of frauds committed by women in Australia have increased by 26 per cent. Male fraudsters are responsible for 61 per cent of the offences, with women now committing 39 per cent of the nefarious activity.
  • Internationally, the proportion of frauds committed by women identified globally was just 17 per cent. Interestingly, male fraudsters were found to collude more than their female counterparts, both locally and globally.
  • Over a quarter of the fraudsters were aged below 36 years, which is almost double the proportion identified globally.
  • The value of frauds against government agencies has increased by almost four times and over six times for investors.
Fraud in Australia is surging, warns KPMG
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