Almost two thirds of UK organisations have fallen victim to fraud in the last two years


Nearly two in three UK companies (64%) say they have experienced fraud or economic crime in the last two years, according to figures from PwC’s latest Global Economic Crime Survey 2022.

This is above the global average for this year (46%), as well as being higher than the last time the survey was conducted in 2020 (56%).

Of the types of fraud reported, cybercrime was the most frequent with almost a third (32%) experiencing a cyber breach, although this is less than the number of those who fell victim to cybercrime in the 2020 survey (42%). Supply chain fraud, included for the first time in the survey accounted for almost a fifth of respondents (19%).

Fran Marwood, Partner and Head of Digital & Forensic Investigations, said:

“With increased levels of disruption being experienced, and the fact that more UK organisations have experienced fraud than in our last survey, it’s surprising to see a decline in some types of fraud and economic crime, such as cybercrime, bribery and financial statement fraud.

“From what we are seeing in the market, I believe some of the trends are temporary, with, for example, instances of fraud and misconduct potentially remaining undiscovered as traditional controls and corporate culture evolve to keep pace with remote working.

“Encouragingly, in some cases, incidences of economic crimes have reduced due to the investment organisations have made in effective compliance programmes, cyber defences and fraud prevention controls.”

When looking at who is committing fraud, just over half of UK respondents (51%) said fraud was committed by external fraudsters, compared to 43% globally. The top three external perpetrators according to those asked in the UK were customers, hackers and vendors/suppliers.

Further findings revealed that the most serious fraud was initially detected most frequently by companies monitoring suspicious activity using forensic technology (15% of cases) and by internal audit according to 15% of respondents, followed by corporate security (12%) and whistleblowing or tip-off (10%). In terms of money lost through fraud, almost a quarter of respondents reported the figure to be between one million and five million US Dollars.

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