ACFE 2018 Report to the nations is based on the results of the ACFE 2017 Global Fraud Survey, an online survey of Certified Fraud Examiners conducted from July 2017 to October 2017. Respondents were asked to provide information about the single largest fraud case they had investigated that met the following four criteria:
- The case must have involved occupational fraud.
- The investigation must have occurred between January 2016 and the time of survey participation.
- The investigation must have been complete at the time of survey participation.
- The respondent must have been reasonably sure the perpetrator(s) was (were) identified.
Over 2,600 real cases of occupational fraud was researched from 125 countries in 23 industry categories. The findings showed that $7 Billion+ in total losses were incurred with $130,000 median loss per case. The median duration of a fraud scheme was 16 months and corruption was the most common scheme in every global region. Not surprisingly, asset misappropriation schemes (Skimming, Cash Larceny, Fraudulent Disbursements, Check Tampering, Billing, Expense Reimbursement, Payroll, Non-cash, and Inventory Schemes) were the most common and accounted for 89% of cases. Tips were the most common detection method with employees providing over half of the tips. Internal audit and management review for detecting fraud were 15% and 13% respectively. Internal control weakness was responsible for nearly half of frauds and the fraudsters have been at their company longer than 5 years and aware of the internal control weaknesses