More women are taking to fraud in Australia

Photo: Catch Me If You Can/ IMDb.

There’s been a sharp increase in corporate fraud in Australia, with women behind an increasing proportion of cases uncovered.

For the six months to March, the value of frauds uncovered almost tripled. There were 116 frauds with a combined value of $381.1 million, an average ripoff of $3.3 million, according to KPMG’s latest Fraud Barometer.

This compares with 91 frauds with a value of $128.4 million, at an average value of $1.4 million in the previous six months.

“Cyber-crime continues to rise,” says Gary Gill, head of forensic at KPMG Australia.

Source: KPMG

“We are seeing an alarming increase in the number of spoofed emails, which are often addressed to senior finance personnel, purportedly from someone in the C suite, with instructions to transfer large sums of money into bank accounts.”

However, the latest Fraud Barometer shows that the most common perpetrators are business insiders. Frauds attributable to management average $5.7 million, more than double that of non-management employees.

And the proportion of frauds committed by women in Australia have increased by 26%. Male fraudsters are responsible for 61% of offences with women at 39%.

This is far bigger than the global average of 17% of frauds committed by women.

And the offenders are getting younger. More than a quarter of fraudsters are aged below 36 years, almost double the global average.

In Australia, Queensland ($195 million) and NSW ($124 million) top the fraud charts.

The frauds uncovered in Queensland include a $68 million tax evasion scam by an emerging technology business, a $23 million sports betting scam and a $65 million fraudulent scheme involving more than 11,000 investors.

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