Infographic: Profile of a Fraudster

profile of a fraudsterThe Association of Certified Fraud Examiners recently posted an infographic entitled: Profile of a Fraudster.

See the infographic in this post.

As I reviewed the profile, it kind of make sense….

  • Majority of frauds committed by regular staff, then managers. Staff position outnumber managers, who outnumber executives. Shocking, I know.
  • The higher the fraudster’s position, the more $ involved. Managers and executives have greater access, authority, and are trusted more. Yep.
  • 77% of frauds occurred in specific organizational departments. Isn’t that were the $ and the oppotunities are? Not many janitors make off with lots of cash.
  • Males steal 123% more than females. Males still dominate the work force, especially in managerial and executive positions.
  • Fraudsters are usually 31-45 years old, and the older you are, the more you steal. With age comes experience (you know the systems, the controls, and the weaknesses) and older people are more likely to be in positions where they can steal more. As you age, you realize you may not reach your dreams after all, so you reach for your employer’s money.
  • The longer you’re at a company, the more likely you’re a cheat.  Same as above. You’re also more likely to die before the new hires.

I know I got a bit snarky, but isn’t this profile stating the obvious?

Can any CFEs or anyone else out in the audience help me out here? I must have missed something.


Filed under Audit, Security

4 responses to “Infographic: Profile of a Fraudster

  1. Will

    I’m not a CFE (not yet anyway, but I do volunteer with the local chapter), but I’ll go ahead and chime in. I think the ‘obvious’ findings are part of the point, to help combat the whole “but I trust Bob, he’s been handling the accounting for 20 years” mindset. Outside the fraud/audit/investigation community, the perception is that fraud is committed by hardened criminals and shady people, not the regular Joe’s and Jane’s you work with.


    • Will,
      Thanks for chiming in. That make sense; I have always thought that fraudsters were regular folks, so that’s probably why I missed the point.

      I wasn’t really looking for just CFE comments, so I’ll change that above so it doesn’t give that impression.

      As noted in my ”Security Failure: Empty Your Drawers” post, I focused on family right away as that fraudster. In that case, not all fraudsters are sophisticated, either.

      Thanks again.


  2. I’ve found from my experience that those committing fraud over the longest time (and greatest amounts) are those “best” employees as rated by the boss and coworkers. They work harder, stay later, and are the most generous (must be easy to give away stolen money). I think that is what leads to many of the characteristics noted in the info graphic. Great post, thanks!


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