Mindset of the Fraudster: What We’ve Learned in 25 Years of Interviewing

Some of the recent news stories from just this week highlight the broad range of frauds committed around the world:

We read these stories, we balk at the outlandishness and, if you are a fraud examiner, you dissect the scams and attempt to untangle the webs in hopes of learning what could have been done differently.

Once a fraud scandal goes public, the “what, when, where and how” become a matter of public record. But what about the “why”? What drives a married couple to steal money from a group of congregants who trust them wholeheartedly? What pushes a man to attempt a magic trick of sorts to steal money from his friend? Why does someone join a group of cybertheives to find loopholes in security systems? Is it for fun or for money? Understanding the path a fraudster takes from employee to criminal can provide valuable insight that can strengthen your anti-fraud initiatives and make your fraud examinations more successful.

John Gill, J.D., CFE, ACFE VP of Education, once wrote:

“Yogi Berra said, ‘If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.’ In the fraud examination field, if you don’t know who you are trying to catch, you’ll end up with someone else as your perpetrator. I’ve interviewed at least a dozen white-collar criminals, and without exception, they have all been articulate, congenial, nice and intelligent. Several were CPAs or lawyers, and one had a Ph.D. in science. Several had previously led Fortune 500 companies. So if you think the individuals who are committing fraud in your organization are the low-level employees with little education, you don’t know where you are going.”

At the upcoming 2016 ACFE Fraud Conference Asia-Pacific, November 20-22, Dr. Annamaria Kurtovic, CFE, CA, CICA, SCCE, Principal Forensic Accountant and Fraud Investigator at Integrity Forensic Accountants and Fraud Investigators will help attendees get where they are hoping to go in their fraud examinations during her 4-hour Pre-Conference session, “Mindset of the Fraudster: What We’ve Learned in 25 Years of Interviewing.”

Through discussions of human behavior and video interviews with convicted fraudsters, you can expect to gain a deeper understanding of the motivations and personality traits common to many fraudsters. Read more about Kurovic’s session, and find the full conference line up, at FraudConference.com/AsiaPac