The Fraudster and the Culture of Fraud


In this chapter the fraudster and the culture of fraud are considered. It is important to understand why people turn to fraud and what factors influence this. There is not a huge literature on this subject, but there is a growing base. The chapter will therefore begin by examining research on fraudsters, reviewing different types of them and the factors which influence why they become fraudsters. This will include an overview of some of the research which profiles occupational fraudsters, as well as Cressey's famous fraud triangle which seeks to explain the actions of individual fraudsters. The cultural influences at both a national and organisational level are also important, and this chapter will move on to examine some of the differences which exist, as well as some of the factors which influence such cultures.


It would be useful to begin with an examination of research on fraudsters. Understanding their motives, rationalisation, and techniques all aid the counter-fraud professional in tailoring their response. As Sun Tzu in The Art of War argued, ‘If you know your enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.’1 Practitioners, however, are often surprised to learn that in the vast field of criminology there has not been a significant amount of research on the criminals themselves, how they committed their crimes, and their motivations for doing so. Common ...

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