The Profile of a Fraudster

The ACFE’s 2014 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse analyzed 1,483 fraud cases and determined the following of the person committing the fraud:

  • 42% were staff-level; 36% were mid-level managers
  • 55% worked alone in committing their scheme
  • 52% were between the ages of 31 and 45
  • 47% had worked for the organization < 6 years
  • 72% had some university education
  • 45% worked in either accounting, operations or sales
  • 87% were first time offenders
  • 44% were known to be living beyond their means
  • Two-thirds were male

Of course, meeting this profile does not make any individual a fraud suspect.  However, examining trends in these characteristics can provide context and perspective to those charged with identifying high-risk areas and individuals.

Technological advancements provide both enhanced tools and challenges for fraud schemes involving the misappropriation of assets, corruption or financial statement fraud (referred to as occupational fraud).  Misappropriation of assets is by far the most common and least costly (averaging $130,000/loss) while financial statement fraud is the least common but most costly(average of $1 million/loss).

If you would like further understanding of fraud and prevention or are in need of a Certified Fraud Examiner please contact Mike Stevenson, CPA, CFF, CFE, ABV at or 614-545-9100 x12.

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