The latest results from the KPMG Fraud Barometer have just been published and provides an analysis of the data for 2022.
The bi-annual Barometer identifies the latest fraud trends and patterns affecting the UK economy which helps businesses remain alert to new threats and respond to any fraud risks in an appropriate and proactive manner.
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- Scottish fraud cases rocket in first half of 2022.
"The dramatic increase of fraud cases coming to light in Scotland is worrying, particularly with many cases involving rogue employees abusing their positions of trust to steal money from their employers, clients and other partners.
Businesses must do all they can to maintain adequate controls to prevent serious fraud from being committed. Without the right safeguards in place, businesses across Scotland will unfortunately continue to be victims of crime and incur the reputational and financial damage which comes with it.”
Annette Barker, Head of Forensic in the UK
North East anchor
- North East fraud cases fell in 2022, with the general public being the region’s most impacted
“While it’s good to see both the volume and value of North East fraud cases fall slightly over the last 12 months, the general public remains a prime target for culprits as the victims of two-thirds of all cases across the region.
“As rising energy bills and inflation continue to bite, this trend will likely persist well into 2023, with fraudsters looking for every and any opportunity to strike. Consumers and businesses alike need to stay on high alert and ensure protective measures are in place to help them avoid paying the price.”
Sara Smith, Forensic Director for KPMG in the North East.
- Yorkshire fraud cases fell, but overall value soared, in 2022
“The major money laundering case in Leeds might have taken the spotlight and somewhat skewed the combined value of Yorkshire fraud cases last year, but this does not detract from the fact there were also other high-value cases and that even much lower value cases are continuing to have a cumulative impact. The region’s individuals and businesses alike must not let their guards down as, with rising energy bills and inflation continuing to bite, fraudsters will be looking for every and any opportunity to strike in 2023. We all need to stay on high alert and ensure protective measures are in place to help avoid paying the price.”
Annette Barker, Head of Forensic for KPMG in Yorkshire.
North west anchor
- North West fraud cases fell in 2022, with commercial businesses and Government still the region’s most impacted
“It’s encouraging to see a sizeable drop in both the volume and value of North West fraud cases in 2022. However, corporate fraud continued to rear its ugly head, with rogue employees abusing their positions of trust to steal money from their employers, clients and other partners. Despite the fall in related cases year-on-year, it’s vital that the region’s business leaders are taking the urgent action necessary to ensure they have the safeguards in place that can detect and prevent these crimes.”
Damien Margetson, Head of Forensic for KPMG in the North West.
- Fraudsters targeting higher value assets in the Midlands amidst economic challenges
“Although the number of cases heard in Midlands Crown Courts decreased, the threat of fraud is still evident. “Fraudsters are finding new opportunities and ways of getting ill-gotten gains. Financial institutions that handle high volumes of money will have to tighten up on protective measures and ensure that proper due diligence is done across all new clients, and that staff are trained to spot any suspicious cases.”
“It is paramount that business and organisations ensure that they have anti-fraud controls and deterrents in place to defend fraudulent activity.”
Julie Bruce, Forensic Director for KPMG in the Midlands.
- Professional criminals drive rise in alleged Fraud across the East of England in 2022
“Despite the number of alleged fraud cases heard in the Region’s courts remaining relatively low, fraud risk continues to be high due to factors such as the cost of living crisis and the economic uncertainty that we are currently experiencing.
The £30m case heard in the region’s courts during 2022 highlights how significant economic crime can be. With commercial businesses continuing to fall victim to both internal and external fraudsters, we would advise management to assess their organisation’s anti-fraud defences and, where necessary, invest in controls and processes responsive to fraud risk. This may seem difficult at a time when organisations are under pressure to manage and reduce costs but failing to do so may prove even more costly.”
Kathryn Wasteney, Forensic Senior Manager for KPMG in the Midlands and East Anglia.
- Welsh courts see a notable decline in value of fraud cases despite national increase
“Whilst the overall decline in fraud cases heard in the Welsh courts in 2022 may appear positive, individuals and organisations remain at a high risk of falling victim to fraudsters. The current cost of living crisis combined with the adverse economic outlook into 2023 contribute to an environment where fraud can and does readily occur. The decline observed in the region for 2022 may be attributable to factors such as the increasing backlog of cases waiting to be heard in the UK’s courts and the relatively low rates of prosecution for fraud offences.
The Fraud Barometer data suggests that fraud in Wales continues to evolve with both businesses and members of the general public being impacted by fraudsters in the region. Businesses in particular should look to re-assess their current defences against fraud and, where necessary, act swiftly to protect themselves.”
Steven Wadley, Senior Manager at KPMG in Wales
South West anchor
- The South West region sees a notable decline in value of fraud cases despite national increase
“Whilst the South West has seen a reduction in the number and total value of alleged fraud cases heard in its courts during 2022, this should not be taken as a sign that the level of fraud risk faced by individuals and organisations has reduced. The cost of living crisis has increased the financial pressure felt by individuals and organisations alike and the prevalence of fraud identified and brought to Court will likely increase in 2023.
The regional Fraud Barometer data highlights that organisations continue to face internal as well as external fraud risks. It is sometimes those individuals in positions of trust that commit fraud and in difficult times such as these, organisations should assess and invest in their anti-fraud processes and safeguarding measures as necessary.”
Steven Wadley, Senior Manager for KPMG in the South West
South East anchor
- Value of alleged fraud cases heard in South East’s courts in 2022 hits over £21 million
“Whilst the number of alleged fraud cases heard in the South East’s courts dropped in 2022, the value of those alleged fraud cases remains relatively consistent with those heard during 2021, suggesting that larger and potentially more complex cases were heard in the region’s courts over the past year. As the backlog of cases waiting to be heard in the UK’s courts grew during 2022 we may see an increase in the number of alleged fraud cases heard in the region’s courts in 2023.
Our data shows that professional criminals continue to be active in the region and the increase in value of fraud allegedly perpetrated by private individuals indicates that threats continue to evolve, so we would advise individuals and organisations to be alert to fraud. The cost of failing to do so may be significant.”
Damian Byrne, Forensic Lead for KPMG in the South.
- The total value of UK fraud returns to pre-pandemic levels
“Despite a fall in the number of alleged fraud cases heard in London’s courts in 2022, the fact that the value of those cases heard in 2022 has more than doubled compared to 2021 indicates that fraudsters, in particular professional criminals, may be undertaking larger and potentially more complex fraud against businesses, investors and the general public.
As London is a significant centre for finance in Europe, it is unsurprising that professional criminals are targeting individuals and organisations in the capital. The significant increase in the value of cases involving individuals in a management role should be taken as a warning for organisations to not ignore internal fraud risks and related controls. Fraudsters are continually looking for weaknesses in fraud prevention processes to exploit, so we encourage organisations to assess their fraud risk and resilience.”
Roy Waligora, Partner, Head of Investigations and Corporates Forensic, for KPMG in the UK.