Fraud Costs Companies Average of $105,000

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The median fraud loss for U.S. organizations is $105,000, according to a new study, with billing and corruption schemes the most common types of fraud reported.

The study, by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, surveyed CFEs who investigated cases between January 2008 and December 2009. The report includes global data on 1,843 cases of fraud in 106 nations.

Among the 1,021 U.S. cases in the study, the median fraud loss was $105,000. Billing schemes were present in 27.6 percent of these cases, while corruption was reported in 21.9 percent of cases. While 46.2 percent of U.S. frauds in the study were committed by lower-level employees who caused a median fraud loss of $50,000, it was the 17.1 percent of frauds committed by owners and executives that did the most damage, with a median loss of $485,000. Another 36.7 percent of frauds committed by managers had a median loss of $150,000.

More than 57 percent of the U.S. frauds in the study were perpetrated by males. However, this gender gap is narrower than in most other regions in the world, notably Asia, where the proportion was 86.7 percent male, and Europe, where it was 82.1 percent male.
Anonymous fraud hotlines have made a major impact, with 37.8 percent of the U.S. frauds in the study detected through tips. Management review detected 17.1 percent of the fraud schemes and internal audit detected 13.7 percent of the frauds.

The ACFE report also details how organizations were affected based upon industry, how the implementation of anti-fraud controls affected exposure to fraud, additional breakdowns of fraud statistics by geographical region, and the most common behavioral traits observed among fraud perpetrators.

The “2010 Report to the Nations” is available for download online at the ACFE’s web site at

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