Fraud detection in the economic sphere

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In the economic sphere, fraudulent schemes are implemented much more often than in other types of activity. Due to the delayed detection of fraud, both small and medium-sized firms and large companies suffer losses. Fraudsters negatively affect not only the economy of an individual enterprise. Such types of crimes as corruption and fraud inhibit economic development at the state level.

However, despite the decline in economic growth rates associated with fraud, the Criminal Code creates virtually no obstacles for fraudsters.

Types of economic crimes

Several types of fraud and crime affect the state of the economic sphere. Economic crime is manifested in the abuse of official duties; bribery, money laundering and other illegal money transfer schemes, insurance counterfeiting and other forms.

Real estate fraud

Public and private companies suffer losses due to fraudulent schemes associated with the construction and rental of offices and warehouses. The most common types of real estate fraud fall into three groups.

  • Conclusion of deliberately illegal transactions and payment of incorrect amounts for renting offices or other buildings

Employees who are responsible for finding office space or organizing production are most often involved in such fraudulent schemes with the payment of rent or the purchase of real estate. In the official reporting, the scammers inflate the real amounts at times.

  • Violation of conditions of purchase or lease

Often, the owners of branches or divisions of the company seek to reduce the cost of rent, keeping silent about the conditions under which they will actually use the premises. This violates the terms of the lease. As a result, the company pays huge penalties and, as a result, suffers losses. Ordinary workers are found guilty of violating the procedure for drawing up contracts for the purchase or lease of real estate. Management is often not even aware of the financial fraud practiced in the company.

  • Submission of false documents to management or the board of directors

Fraudulent schemes, which involve the submission of deliberately false information about contracts and the transferred money, are difficult to detect without a professional investigation. For years, unscrupulous employees continue to illegally enrich themselves at the expense of the company.

Among fraudulent rental schemes, there are two types of fraud:

  • A sublease is where a tenant tries to re-lease the premises and the building owner receives a much lower amount than the firm pays to the secondary tenant.
  • Key sale , the essence of which is that the tenant pays for the premises and at the same time tries to sell the right to occupy the building to others. The law gives the owner of the premises the right to sue the landlord for damages.

Tax fraud

Economic tax fraud involves knowingly giving false information about income in order to reduce taxes. The most common types of tax fraud in the realm of economics include hiding the true reasons for tax cuts and providing bogus income documents.

However, more often tax fraudulent schemes are organized not by enterprises, but by taxpayers - individuals. This is due to the fact that state bodies regularly check large organizations - legal entities.

There are several types of fraudulent tax schemes that are implemented in enterprises:

  1. Hiding the actual location of the enterprise. Firms often register office addresses in residential buildings or on non-existent streets. Thus, it is difficult for government agencies to find a taxpayer to check when they discovered the fact of fraud.
  2. Absence of actually used property in the submitted declaration.
  3. Registration in the staff of the company of employees with disabilities. This allows businesses to reduce taxes, even though none of the registered ones actually work.

Social Assistance Fraud

Types of social assistance scams include:

  • Assigning a false status, which allows you to receive social benefits.
  • Lack of accountability to the state for how the money was spent. Many types of assistance are accountable, but in practice, spending is not monitored. This creates an additional opportunity for fraudsters to misappropriate money.
  • Abuse of custody to gain complete control over the ward's finances.

Insurance fraud

Insurance fraud is when an individual or company artificially creates a situation in which the payment of insurance is due:

  • falsification of medical certificates of injuries in order to obtain compensation;
  • intentional damage to the insured property;
  • collusion with employees of the insurance company;
  • exaggeration of the amount of damage.

Bribery and corruption

This type of fraud mostly concerns government officials: politicians, judges and employees of other government agencies. It is corruption that is one of the most dangerous types of fraud, which causes significant damage to the state economy.

Common forms of corruption involve:

  • Malpractice for career advancement by persons who paid for it.
  • Receiving money and gifts for government officials in exchange for lobbying companies' interests, for example, helping to win a tender. The fact of receiving a bribe is especially difficult to identify when it comes to large amounts. Large sums are withdrawn to offshores, and it is extremely difficult to track further movement of funds.
  • Misuse of public funds.

Illegal enrichment schemes

Illicit enrichment schemes refer to the collusion of fraudsters with banks. Collusion manifests itself in different ways, for example, in the form of huge interest payments on small investments. Such actions are classified as fraudulent by law and are prosecuted as a criminal offense. However, schemes involving embezzlement of large sums are often controlled by the bank's management, so it is not possible to bring the organizers of the fraud to justice, only the perpetrators are punished.

Financial pyramids

The organizers of financial pyramids promise investors a large profit by attracting new participants, and not through real investments, production or sale of goods.

This type of fraud committed in the economic sphere is dangerous in that the law does not clearly regulate and does not provide for a separate specific punishment for organizing such schemes. After the creator of the pyramid receives a huge amount of money from the "contributors", the organization disappears along with the organizer.

Identity fraud

This type of fraudulent scheme involves the use of personal information by third parties for the purpose of stealing money. Criminal actions can be committed by both fraudulent hackers and company employees who have access to the customer base. Identity theft and illegal use in most cases is preparation for hacking bank assets.


Phishing concerns not only ordinary Internet users around the world, but also companies. The essence of the fraudulent method is that the owners of accounts, assets, confidential documents and other valuable information, unknowingly or inadvertently, give out data to cybercriminals, taking phishing web pages at face value.

Fake pages can be an exact copy of the official website of a company, bank, or corporate mail. An inexperienced user will not distinguish between two equally laid out resources with a difference only in the address of the domain or site. Links to a phishing resource can come in the form of a disguised letter from a colleague or management.

During a session on a fake site, the user leaves his data, information about transactions, company bank details, scans of passports and other important documents. Theft of information in this way is a type of fraud committed in the economic sphere.


Skimming is the theft of information about a company's bank accounts, which can be obtained in several ways:

  • Hacking the company's servers . The fraudster's goal is to steal information about deposits, active loans, financial transactions, card and current account data. It is very easy to steal money with information about a bank account.
  • Theft of electronic devices from employees whose phone numbers are linked to important bank accounts.
  • Tracking and stealing relevant information through spy devices , such as covert video surveillance or listening devices.

Creation of fake contracts and invoices

After stealing valuable useful information, the attacker obtains the necessary information to forge documents. As a rule, such fraudulent schemes are carried out in the economic sphere with the help of intermediaries within the company - insiders. Employees extract the necessary data or even steal reports in order to provide the accomplice with everything necessary to implement the criminal scheme. The fact of document forgery and theft of funds is hidden from management, for example, delayed financial statements.

Will or inheritance fraud

Criminal acts in the sphere of creation and / or execution of a will are also classified as types of economic fraud. There are several options for fraudulent inheritance: falsification of a will; intentional cancellation of the document; non-fulfillment of the will.

Signs of fraud

Economic fraud involves multinational corporations, large companies, small firms and individual entrepreneurs.

In order to eliminate fraud, it is important to know about the most common fraudulent schemes, as well as learn to identify the first signs. If a company experiences an unexplained decline in economic performance and permanent losses without objective reasons, this is the main sign of fraud. Other indicators that may indicate the implementation of fraudulent schemes in the company:

  1. Delayed reporting or unwillingness to show full versions of documents.

If employees or partners of an organization stop compiling reports or do it for a very long time, dragging out time, this indicates a possible fact of fraud, the purpose of which is theft of funds. It is important to establish a rigorous reporting system for all economic indicators. It is necessary to strictly follow the system not only in the company, but also in cooperation with other companies. When attempting to launder money, businesses may respond evasively, not wanting to disclose who the actual owner of the organization is and where the firm is registered.

  1. Incomplete or inconsistent information

All contracts and other documents must be checked for uniqueness and originality. The management of the company should have access to all information about current affairs and financial and economic indicators at any time.

  1. Suspicious money transfers or transactions

Money that is transferred in unusual ways is cause for concern. Money laundering schemes include a variety of transaction techniques that steal large amounts of money. To avoid risk, each transfer must be identified and reported. If there is no business relationship between organizations, then there should be no transfers of funds. It is also necessary to track the funds spent on various purchases for the enterprise. Unusually high turnovers in small companies require further explanation.

  1. Collusion between an attacker and employees of the organization

To identify frauds committed in the economic sphere, detailed monitoring of the activities of employees will allow. To simplify the task, large enterprises are introducing control systems and accounting of working hours , as well as software for tracking user actions at computers. Employees can work for competitors or a specific attacker. The goal of insiders' actions in this case is to disguise the company's true ways of transferring money and its own sources of income. By colluding with malefactors, employees harm the employer in different ways, such as making bad deals or damaging their reputation. All this ultimately affects the economic performance of the company.

  1. The presence of negative information about a client, company or employee.

A simple Internet search sometimes yields a huge amount of information about a new employee, client, or company with which you plan to work. By itself, negative reporting in the media or blogs is not direct evidence of fraudulent activity. But it can affect the adoption of the final decision on hiring or on the interaction of partners.

It is important to monitor all of these signs of fraud on a regular basis. Security personnel, accountants and other authorized employees must remain aware of all possible risks and consequences. You should carefully check the reports drawn up by any employee who is in one way or another involved in financial transactions, processing payments, drawing up expense plans.

Fraud prevention measures

Fraud prevention measures will only be effective if both the state and companies and ordinary citizens are interested in countering.

Basic principles of combating fraud:

  • Assistance in raising the level of economic development of the country.
  • Equality before the law for all government agencies, private companies and citizens.
  • Reforms of the authorities, the task of which is to control and regulate the work of law enforcement agencies.
  • Protection of property rights of businesses and citizens in any type of economic activity.
  • Control over the work of companies that are engaged in business insurance.
  • Simplification of credit conditions.
  • Attracting deposits to all types of financial institutions.

To prevent specific facts of fraud, each subject of economic relations needs to develop and implement a system of organizational and legal techniques.

Among the legal measures, the development of normative acts that regulate the procedures for the investigation and bringing the perpetrators to justice is distinguished.

Organizational measures include:

  • Creation of a system for identifying schemes, which includes familiarization with all types and main signs of economic fraud.
  • Creation of specially authorized structures for investigation. At the state level, these are, for example, specialized police departments, in buying companies - security services, in medium and small firms - an administrator.
  • Strict adherence to the rules of the investigation. When identifying the fact of fraud, it is necessary to collect the most complete evidence base confirming the guilt of a particular fraudster or group of fraudsters. Otherwise, intruders may have time to cover their tracks.
  • Criminal prosecution of persons involved in fraud.
  • Control over the execution of decisions on claims.

The state, in addition, should develop a national system of assistance to victims of various types of financial fraud.

The team should regularly carry out preventive measures and activities aimed at detecting fraud. This, for example, instructing staff about the consequences of organizing or participating in fraudulent schemes. An effective technique that helps prevent deception in the company is to maintain a friendly microclimate in the team and build corporate relationships based on honesty and mutual assistance. Prevention saves money on crime investigation and helps to avoid losses.

It is important to monitor the work of each employee and create conditions under which no one can abuse access to corporate finance and assets for personal gain. In a company that does not have control over its own financial flows and reporting, employees are more likely to take the opportunity to solve personal financial problems under pressure from circumstances. The risk of fraud decreases in proportion to the quality of the security service.

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Economic crimes are part of fraudulent schemes that involve corporate and personal crimes. State and private structures are practically not protected from fraudulent actions of malefactors.

Anti-hacking measures, theft of confidential information, money laundering are practically not reflected in the legislation. Investigation of crimes committed in the economic sphere is complicated by corruption.

In such circumstances, it is important to disseminate as much information as possible about the methods and methods of combating fraudsters. Due to ignorance of the organizational component of the economic and information security systems, Russian business annually loses hundreds of millions of rubles.

At the national level, it is necessary to strengthen legislation, at the level of organizations and enterprises - to carry out prevention, investigation and provide full protection against threats. Collaboration between the public and private sectors is also vital in addressing the problem and taking effective measures to prevent fraud.