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Concerning increase in new recruits committing dishonest conduct

A concerning trend emerges as Cifas releases its latest Fraudscape report: an increasing number of employee fraud cases, particularly among new recruits.

Over a third of employees (38%) filed* for dishonest conduct against their employer have been in their position less than a year – up from 21% in 2022.

Meanwhile, the data and intelligence recorded by Cifas members to the ITD indicate that 17% of individuals in post for more than 10 years were filed for dishonest conduct.

ITD results can be seen in today’s (16 April) official launch of the latest Fraudscape report which details the fraud data and intelligence recorded by its members during 2023.

Overall, filings to the ITD increased by 14% last year compared to 2022. Just under half of these cases (49%) related to dishonest action by employees, with many organisations citing the increase in financial pressures as a driving factor behind the rise.

Equally, there were signs of improved counter-fraud measures and staff awareness from members, with cases of fraud detected by internal controls and employees up by 20% and 44% respectively.

The second most prominent case type recorded to the ITD was ‘false employment application (unsuccessful)’ which accounted for 33% of all cases, compared to 44% in 2022.

Duncan McLellan, Senior Fraud Intelligence Analyst at Cifas, said: “As the uncertain economic climate and cost-of-living pressures continue to create financial challenges, some employees are being driven to commit dishonest conduct. Coupled with hybrid working – which can make supervision difficult for employers – these combined factors provide enticing opportunities for individuals to exploit the companies they work for.”

Tracey Carpenter, Insider Threat Manager for Cifas, added: “While cases of insider threat continue to rise and remain a critical risk to businesses, it’s pleasing that positive steps are being taken to improve controls and ensure gaps aren’t capitalised on fraudulently – particularly as our data shows a large increase of dishonest conduct from new recruits.

“It is vital organisations continue to monitor throughout an entire employee lifecycle too as we’re still seeing filings for longer-serving personnel. Therefore, efforts to increase staff awareness through counter-fraud prevention training and having a greater focus on staff wellbeing to support employees remain critical. Small changes can make a significant difference when mitigating the risk of insider threat and keeping workforces safe.”

*Cifas Insider Threat Database (ITD)

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