Cifas releases 2022 Fraudscape report

On 28th April 2022, Cifas (the UK’s leading fraud prevention ser-vice) released their annual Fraudscape report, detailing key find-ings and emerging trends in the world of fraud over the course of 2021.

Identity Fraud

The number of recorded cases has increased by 22% in 2021, and identity fraud accounts for 63% of all cases reported to the National Fraud Database (NFD).

Insider Threat

Theft of cash or IT equipment

In 2021, nearly 270 individuals were recorded to the Enhanced Inter-nal Fraud Database, with 41% of the reports being due to dishonest actions.

Most reports were due to cash theft from employers, with an addi-tional rise in theft of IT equipment (possibly enabled through less-ened monitoring of staff in remote roles or quiet offices on hybrid working days).

False employment application information

39% of cases related to the omission of information during a job application, such as: concealing adverse credit history or addresses linked to adverse credit and also concealing adverse employment history.

Despite a large proportion of those recorded being aged between 21 and 30 years old, there has also been a significant (27%) increase in those aged between 41 and 50 years also being dishonest, with the majority (87%) of them having been in employment for more than 10 years.

Fraud and the cost of living

Inflation, energy prise rises and an increase in national insurance payments have all forced the cost of living in the UK to rise considerably over recent weeks, with no signs of it slow-ing down any time soon. According to a survey by Which? conducted in early April 2022, 3 in 10 people have reported dipping into their savings to cover everyday bills and 7% have sold possessions to generate income.

The Fraudscape report warns that the current increase in the cost of living could make em-ployees or potential employees more vulnerable and therefore more likely to commit fraud, posing more risk of “insider threat”:

“The increase in the cost of living may tempt staff members into committing dis-honest conduct or becoming more vulnerable to staff approaches. It is therefore essential to have appropriate monitoring in place to audit employee behaviour and ensure wellbeing checks are carried out regularly.”

As referenced in the previous article on the pension administration industry, there are also instances of individuals deliberately gaining employment in certain roles for the sole pur-pose of committing fraud, which could also become more tempting as the cost of living in-creases:

“A significant concern is the rise in insider threat as a service, where individuals are actively recruited to work in particular roles to carry our dishonest activity and exploit policies and procedures.”

Conducting thorough pre-employment screening of new recruits, introducing robust remote and hybrid working policies and offering staff wellbeing checks are some of the ways to start to mitigate these risks.

To read the full Fraudscape report, click here.

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