Look around you. You could be among fraudsters who look just like your average unsuspecting citizen going about their business. The only difference is that their business is fraud.
“Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that you would recognise such an individual because they move in commercial circles, just like everyone else,” says Manie van Schalkwyk of the South African Fraud Prevention Service. “However, it is their intention that could differ.”
The South African Fraud Prevention Service has compiled research to identify certain characteristics of fraudsters. This outlines some aspects that are typical of a fraudster’s demographic profile.
To compare the profile of fraudsters and victims to the profile of the average population, a control sample of consumers was accepted. The control sample comprised 50,000 randomly selected consumers between the ages of 19 and 65.
The sample was selected from the credit active population, that is, consumers who at some point have produced their identity document to apply for credit.
“We utilised the CSH Group (Scoresharp) to conduct an analysis of our data,” Van Schalkwyk says.
SAFPS found that fraud perpetrators tend to have high risk bureau profiles which could result in a decline decision being returned for a relatively high proportion of these cases. However, depending on the risk appetite of the lender not all fraud perpetrators would be declined if the assessment was based purely on a credit risk score.
Perpetrators in the lower score range tend to commit fraud categorised by false documents and employment, while perpetrators in the higher score range tend to commit fraud characterised by impersonation.
There are slightly more perpetrators between 25 and 30 years of age, than there are between 30 and 35 years of age, the results show.
The highest proportion of fraud categorised by false documents and employment is committed by perpetrators between 25 and 30 years of age. The highest proportion of fraud categorised by impersonation is committed by perpetrators between 30 and 35 years of age.
The highest proportion of fraud committed by perpetrators from Gauteng is categorised by impersonation. In Kwa-Zulu Natal the highest proportion of fraud is in false documents. In the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Mpumalanga and the North West fraud is categorised by employment.
Van Schalkwyk says, “Checking the SAFPS database is essential to assist in identifying possible fraud perpetrators. This applies to individuals, small business and corporates who wish to avoid putting themselves at risk of transacting in circumstances that result in fraud.”