Businesses in Scotland suffered losses of £1.8 million in the first half of 2018 compared to losses of £3.8 million in the same period last year, according to new data from KPMG. The report, which measures alleged fraud cases with losses of £100,00 or more within the UK courts, shows that Scotland is doing more favourably compared to other UK regions where fraud losses are on the rise.
Despite alleged fraud falling by half since last year, Scotland’s number of high-value claims remained the same, while the number of embezzlement claims had risen - accounting for £1.1 million of the overall value lost - and totalling five cases in the first half of 2018.
The head of forensic for KPMG in Scotland, Ken Milliken, said: “The figures suggest that more businesses have been affected by embezzlement but that employees have attempted to steal smaller sums, reducing the chances of being caught. One case saw an employee steal £600,000 over the course of fourteen years, spreading out fraudulent activity and therefore taking longer to be discovered.”
He emphasised that the 2018 figures highlighted the need for businesses to put rigorous safeguards in place to minimise the risk of embezzlement, such as ensuring supervision for employees in key positions and having stronger controls over cash payments.
"Overall, while the value of cases in Scotland remains low in contrast to other regions in the UK, businesses must remain vigilant, particularly in this period of accelerating change, with growth in new technologies, pressure on staff costs and the ease with which money can be moved.”
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