Extent and Significance of Economic Crime

The largest international association of economic crime experts, the “Association of Certified Fraud Examiners” (ACFE) carries out an international survey every two years based on the topic of occupational fraud. In 2018, the details of over 2’700 cases from more than 125 countries were gathered. The statistical study shows the extent and significance of economic crime. The following conclusions can be drawn:

  • Economic crimes cause significant financial damage: on average around 5% of turnover (!) per year.
  • The average length of an offense is 18 months.
  • Most frauds are detected due to a tip-off given by an employee (whistleblowing).
  • Smaller firms suffer proportionally higher losses. The reason for this can be explained by the fact that smaller companies as a rule do not have an effective anti-fraud management system.
  • Companies with an effective anti-fraud management system suffer on average half the amount of losses.
  • The extent of the damage correlates directly to the hierarchical standing of the perpetrator (delinquent).
  • Less than 15% of delinquents are repeat offenders.

(Source: “2018 ACFE Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse” PDF)