New data examines the increases in fraudulent activity, the most common types of white-collar fraud, how the public feel about the UK justice system’s response to fraud and the impact of Generative AI
Brits think white-collar criminals have an easy ride in the UK, with fraudsters not being brought to justice. In fact, 59 per cent believe that if they were to report an incident of white-collar crime to the police or a relevant body, nothing would be done about it.
These findings come from spend management leader Medius, who ran a recent poll of 2,000 adults, looking at attitudes and knowledge around white-collar crime, as 31 per cent felt they had seen a rise in fraudulent activity in the past 12 months.
A lack of understanding
With fraud rising, 44% admit they wouldn’t know how to report a white-collar crime, or know who to give the information to if they were a victim.
Furthermore, 69% think there is a lack of understanding about what a white-collar crime actually entails. This lack of understanding poses a huge risk for businesses, as they are left vulnerable and exposed to ignorance about fraud and open to human error as fraudsters try to infiltrate businesses.
A breakdown of fraud
Fraudsters are also getting innovative with the ways they approach their subjects, but there are some common patterns that businesses should look out for.
The most common type of fraud seen by respondents are scam emails (74 per cent) followed by scam phone calls (68 per cent) and scam texts (57 per cent). And of these forms of fraudulent contact, 51 per cent have been asked to make a payment, and four in 10 were asked about their bank details. Another 38 per cent were asked to pay an invoice or bill, while just over one in 20 (six per cent) were asked to divulge sensitive company information.
What can businesses do?
In the current economic climate, fraudsters have become opportunists and are using honey-potting tactics to entice end users. It is often left down to businesses to train their employees to look out for such communication from scammers, and flag it accordingly.
But, the study found that people who use emails or messaging at work are more likely to simply delete the email, than report it.
A spokesperson from software company Medius, which commissioned the research, said: “The best way to tackle white-collar crime is through prevention. For business owners, ensuring staff are trained up to spot fraudulent activity can be worth its weight in gold, and save huge headaches. The judicial system isn’t set up to deal with fraud, and for businesses there is huge amounts of money at stake.”
The majority of respondents (59 per cent) believe that if they were to report an incident of white-collar crime to the police or a relevant body, nothing would be done about it. Furthermore, a huge 86 per cent of adults would like to see more white collar criminals held accountable for their crimes. And 28 per cent would like to see sentences ‘much longer’ than what they normally are.
AI changing the dynamic
Generative AI has made its presence felt in the last 6 months, with Chat GPT, and BARD becoming household names. But nearly half (48 per cent) worry that the increased use of AI, along with a reduction in human involvement, will lead to more issues with fraud in future.
A spokesperson from software company Medius, added: “AI is having an impact on almost all areas of life, and we’re really only at the beginning of what those issues could be. From the entertainment industry to journalism to the justice system, everyone is scrambling to keep up.”
“AI could be a hugely powerful tool for criminals, so it’s important workplaces stay on top of the latest developments and make sure staff are up to date as well.”