Pink Collar crimes on the rise in the fraud realm

Pink Collar crimes on the rise in the fraud realm

When we think about the disposition of women, the first attributes that pop into mind are: gentle, sensitive, nurturing, safe, soft – and the list continues. It is because of this notion that people fail to realise that female fraudsters are on the rise. As a result, these women are exploiting the fact that you and I never second-guess their capability of committing fraud.


According to the KPMG Global Profile of a Fraudster survey, typical fraudsters are predominantly 79 percent male, with the proportion of women on the rise at 17 percent. When we look at this from a face value perspective, we are blinded by the fact that greater percentage is attributed to men. 

With the survey indicating that there has been an increase from 13 percent in 2010 to 17 percent in 2016, of women who have engaged in fraudulent activities, it is then that we comprehend the magnitude of this issue. The research shows that women are becoming more confident with committing such crimes. 

The survey further indicates that in the working space – 45 percent of the female perpetrators fall between the ages of 36-45, with perpetrators being 42 percent staff members, 38 percent managers and 13 percent executives of companies who are well respected. Furthermore, the data of the survey reflects that the perpetrators have an academic background in Economic and Management Sciences.

A recent sample that was used (although based on a small group) indicated that: because female fraudsters are being ruled out in criminal activities, only one in five are likely to get caught, therefore the ratio would be ten to two. This is relatively shocking – as it promptly makes you think about how many of these women will get away with “murder”.

It’s simple really, with the increase of only four percent of male fraudsters in 26 years and five percent female fraudsters in only six years – we can agree that if people continue to be lax about this issue, fraudulent activities will become a greater issue than it already is. In addition, men will resort to collaborating with these women, as the survey reveals that at least 47 percent of female and male fraudsters collaborate. Furthermore, statistics show that this number has increased by 13 percent from 34 percent in 2010.

It’s not to say that we should look into males a lot more when it comes to fraud, any more than should rule out female perpetrators. Ultimately, the bigger picture here is that fraud is a serious issue. These stats, however, delve deeper into the complexities and dynamics of the issue, as well as serve the eye-opener on the dangers of second guessing women’s abilities of being criminals of this nature. 

At the end of the day, criminals are smart and cunning in disposition. Whether we’re talking about a burglar or a pickpocketer, we need to digest the fact that criminals bank on one mechanism – what you doubt the most. Stay alert.

More information

For more information, please contact: 

Lebogang Phatswane
KPMG Investigator in Forensics

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