White-collar crime causes billions of dollars in losses every year all around the globe. Criminal activities of this nature are taking their toll on numerous companies in Switzerland, too. Yet what does a typical fraudster look like? KPMG took a closer look at this question within the scope of an international study.

Anti-fraud controls are not strong enough and the problem is growing.

Fraud in Switzerland is typically committed by perpetrators who are male, between 46 and 55 years old and members of senior management. Their criminal activities are being enabled by technology with increasing frequency: As revealed by KPMG’s latest international Forensics study, 24% of 750 cases of fraud in 78 countries were significantly facilitated by technology.

Characteristics of a typical white-collar offender in Switzerland

• Over half of the fraudsters investigated are between 46 and 55 years of age.

• 82% of the perpetrators are male.

• 64% of all fraudsters come from within the company’s own ranks, i.e. they are employed by the victim organization (61% in 2013).

• 55% of the perpetrators are members of senior management.

• 36% have been employed by the company for at least six years (2013: 41%).

• One out of every five fraudsters (18%) is described as having an autocratic personality.

• On the other hand, white-collar offenders are three times as likely to be perceived as friendly rather than unfriendly.

• The overriding motives for fraudsters’ activities are personal financial gain to finance their lifestyle (64%), greed (18%) and a sense that the crime could be easily committed (18%).

General international findings regarding perpetrators

• Fraudulent acts are committed by groups (62%) more frequently than by individuals (38%); these figures were 70% and 30%, respectively, in 2013.

• Male and female perpetrators colluded in a large number of cases involving fraudsters operating in groups (46%).

• In 61% of the cases, an external third party was involved in the crime.

• 44% of fraudulent acts were detected as a result of tips or complaints and 22% as a result of a management review.

Fraudster – See the infographic below from KPMG on the topic.

Fraudster Fraudsters profile infographic