The typical fraudster - the threat from within.

An overview of the latest global research into the typical fraudster, the incidence of fraud and identity theft in Australia

Speaking in Sydney last week at The Attachmate Group, Inc’s customer briefing “ A Powerful Connection 2011”, Stan Gallo, Associate Director, KMPG Forensic gave an overview of the latest global research into the typical fraudster, the incidence of fraud and identity theft in Australia.

The presentation was based on a global survey conducted bi-annually by KPMG with some 248 respondents across 64 countries.

Fraud, Gallo said, was of two main types, malicious where corporate intellectual property is taken and given to direct competitors and non-malicious such as inadvertent linked-in or Facebook updates. Earlier this year a VP of cloud services Scott McClelland updated his linked in profile and accidentally revealed details of it cloud computing plans. These details were widely published before McClellan was able remove the update from his profile.

The true impact of fraud on a business Gallo said is much more than just financial, there are many indirect impacts – such as the need to reset all system passwords following a fraud being detected or a team breaking up and leaving the company not due to direct involvement but due to trust between workmates being fractured.

In 2010 the KPMG survey revealed fraud in Australia to the value of $345 million, on average $3,000,000 per fraud up from $1,530,000 in 2008.

Of the frauds committed, 60% whilst detected see zero dollars recovered, where there is money recovered, on average it is only 9% of the amount taken.

Who is the typical fraudster?

World wide, the typical fraudster is male, 36 to 45 years of age, is an employee and a senior manager (CEO and MD office fraud has risen from 11 to 28% in the last 4 years). In 30% of fraud case a red flag that should have alerted the company to the event was ignored or missed. Almost 1 in 3 involve bribes or corruption.

Australia/New Zealand, the typical fraudster is male, non-management, an employee of 5 year who has been in their current role for 3 years, has no history of fraud, is 38 years old and earning $113,000 and steals on average $229,000 with greed outstripping gambling as the reason the fraud was committed. Typically the fraud is detected after 12months by internal processes.

In the 2010 survey KPMG saw the total of 180,000 fraud incidents, 65% by employees, who took 98% of the value.

The survey also confirmed that while men commit more frauds, women on average take more funds per fraud.

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Tags: 2010 KPMG survey, The Attachmate Group, KPMG Forensic Stan Gallo, fraud

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Incident handling is a vast topic, but here are a few tips for you to consider in your incident response. I hope you never have to use them, but the odds are at some point you will and I hope being ready saves you pain (or your job!).


  1. Have an incident response plan.

  2. Pre-define your incident response team 

  3. Define your approach: watch and learn or contain and recover.

  4. Pre-distribute call cards.

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  7. Know how to report crimes and engage law enforcement. 

  8. Practice makes perfect.

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