New survey spotlights the top fraud trends to watch in 2023

Even though financial concerns remain a significant obstacle for companies in implementing new anti-fraud technologies, 60% of businesses expect an increase in their anti-fraud technology budgets in the next two years. This is according to the latest anti-fraud technology study conducted by global analytics leader SAS in partnership with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

The survey found that occupational fraud costs businesses more than $4.7 trillion worldwide annually. Companies regardless of size lose untold billions more to external bad actors and so do ordinary people. The research highlighted how nobody is impervious to the wide array of consumer fraud threats, from account takeover to identity theft to phishing schemes and many more.

The disruption caused by the pandemic has resulted in people and organisations becoming increasingly reliant on technology. Of course, this has also impacted on the use of anti-fraud technology. Nearly 30% of respondents have seen an accelerated use of digital forensics or e-discovery tools and case management tools. Given how hybrid working models have become generally accepted both in South Africa and abroad, it is hardly surprising that 15% of respondents saw a decrease or delay in the use of physical biometrics initiatives to combat fraud.

Although many respondents project the adoption of additional analytics approaches in coming years, the use of most of these initiatives has remained relatively flat since 2019. The one notable outlier is exception reporting and anomaly detection, which is used by 55% of the companies in the current study, compared to 64% in the previous one.

“Curbing the ceaseless torrent of fraud that erodes tax coffers and company balance sheets starts with building awareness,” said ACFE President and CEO Bruce Dorris. “In complement, anti-fraud professionals must be equipped with the technology and know-how necessary to detect and prevent increasingly vexing schemes. On all these fronts, SAS is a steadfast ally and partner.”

“The study revealed that 97% or more of fraud examiners consider analytics an indispensable tool in increasing the amount of fraud prevented and boosting the timeliness, efficiency and accuracy of their fraud detection programs,” said Stu Bradley, the Senior VP of Fraud and Security Intelligence at SAS. “While that is an impressive proof point, there is likely no greater testament to the immense value of analytics in fighting fraud than the innovations and successes of our many customers.”

When deploying anti-fraud analytics, companies often take a risk-based approach. This means they tie their analytics initiatives to the areas of the business where fraud risks are highest or where the evidence of potential fraud can be most effectively uncovered using data monitoring and analysis. The two most common risk areas monitored with analytics in the study are fraudulent disbursements and outgoing payments (43% of respondents) and procurement and purchasing fraud (41% of respondents).

“Given how the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in anti-fraud programmes is expected to more than double over the next two years, companies need to identify how to effectively integrate these technologies into their process. This is especially critical in Africa where the continent still struggles to overcome traditional infrastructure challenges resulting in fraudsters leveraging increasingly sophisticated technologies to perpetrate their crimes,” said Stephan Wessels, SAS Head of Customer Advisory for South Africa.


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