UK fraud prevention service reveals rise in dishonest conduct by new recruits

Data sent to Cifas has revealed an increase in new recruits committing dishonest conduct against employers.

Over a third of employees (38%) filed to the Cifas Insider Threat Database (ITD) for dishonest conduct against their employer have been in their position less than a year – up from 21% in 2022, UK fraud prevention service Cifas revealed recently.

Duncan McLellan, senior fraud intelligence analyst at Cifas, said the current economic climate was driving employees to “commit dishonest conduct” and hybrid working means employers are “finding it difficult to supervise” employees too.

“These combined factors provide enticing opportunities for individuals to exploit the companies they work for,” said McLellan.

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 the 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.

Tracey Carpenter, insider threat manager for Cifas, added that while cases of “insider threat remain a critical risk” to firms, it’s “pleasing that positive steps are being taken to improve controls” and ensure fraudulent employees don’t get away with it.

She added that the Cifas data “shows a large increase of dishonest conduct from new recruits” and called on organisations to monitor throughout the employee lifecycle as Cifas said it saw longer-serving individuals perpetrating dishonest endeavours as well.

“Efforts to increase staff awareness through counter-fraud prevention training and having a greater focus on staff wellbeing to support employees remain critical,” said Carpenter. 

“Small changes can make a significant difference when mitigating the risk of insider threat and keeping workforces safe.”

Download the 2024 Fraudscape report here.

And read our report on double-jobbing in the May/June issue of Recruiter, out next week.

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