Fraudsters’ motives in business perspective are varied and complex, often driven by factors such as greed, a sense of injustice or underappreciation, financial pressures, a desire to ‘beat the system’, or even the thrill of the illicit act itself, which underscores the critical importance of implementing robust control measures, fostering an ethical work culture, and maintaining vigilance in monitoring employee behavior.
This is a fact that the desire for incentives and perceived pressures from the top of the management drive employees’ behavior. The assessment of an opportunity to commit fraud including the low likelihood of being caught depends on the employees’ behavioral landscape. There are various motives of fraudsters in the business world.
The Fraudsters Motives In Business Perspective
Many of the business professionals are unaware of the specific findings of the fraud investigation. However, both of these groups are fairly certain about what they believe to be the root of the problem. They are convinced that the primary motivation for internal fraud is pure, unadulterated greed.
There is a reason behind committing fraud. It is greed. Greed may be in the professionals and criminals both. Greedy people get never satisfied with what they have. They keep on exploring avenues from where they may generate more wealth whether legal or illegal. Greedy people think that as everyone is getting rich, so they should also get rich. They think that they should get involved in activities such as gambling. They want to have maximum rewards without putting much effort to earn them. They think that fraud is not a serious crime and is not a serious matter for management to investigate. They often take it as normal to commit fraud to gain financial benefit.
There may be the “revenge motive” to make the organization pay for their services, or they may be having an attitude of “catch me if you can.”
White-collar crime is common amongst greedy professionals working in organizations. They consider it their right to explore the avenues to commit the fraud. Therefore, they utilize the assets and physical resources provided to them by the organization.
Greedy professionals misuse their powers and authorities assigned by the board of directors or senior management. They take financial benefits through manipulating the records and transactions. Greedy people take extreme care to conceal their activities and destroy the evidence to ensure that they are not exposed to the people. Greedy people also commit fraud by combining with similar like-minded people in the organization. Due to this reason, many corporate frauds and crimes are not identified and prosecuted despite their significant financial consequences.
As greedy professionals, especially those who are at senior positions in the organizations, white-collar crime remains a unmanaged fraud category in the corporate world.
Criminals and fraudsters commit frauds due to their respective financial needs and pressures from their families. The amount of fraud shows the level of an employee who might be involved in the act such as a fraud with a very small financial amount would have been performed by the lower-level poor employee. On the other hand, the fraud involving a significant amount would have been involved by middle or senior management of the company.
It is not always necessary that smaller amounts of frauds are conducted by lower level of poor employees because most of the frauds are conducted in series where fraudsters plan the fraudulent activities in such a way that many small value frauds occurred over some time. This is made to ensure that alerts are not generated or the acts being immaterial may be ignored by the supervisors or audit functions.
Some fraudsters believe that committing fraud is their right because they keep a view that their work efforts are not fairly compensated by the employer of the company. The feeling of non-recognition despite putting in hard work induces these employees towards planning and committing fraud.
In some organizations where the ratio of occurrence of fraud incidents is very high, many of the employees working in that organization believe that they are also qualified to commit fraud. Through analysis and understanding the previous fraudulent activities, they get hints, which are exploited by them as well.
Tendency To Beat The System
Some fraudsters believe that they are very smart and internal controls systems can easily be exploited by them due to their tendency to beat any system. This behavior causes them to think about the possible avenues which are not protected by the internal controls system.
Usually, these employees are very smart and qualified to understand any process or misapply the controls. There might be possibilities that they require financial amounts. Usually, they are professional fraudsters with a history of successful fraud attempts, which makes them feel proud and confident in breaking any system and controls to commit fraud. They use the systems and processes in such a way that any loopholes left in the controls and processes by the management are exploited and personal benefits are obtained.
For example, a company may have strong processes and controls in place related to procurement, but there may not be a process defined to assess and select the vendors. As the risk of selecting an inappropriate vendor is unattended by the management and no controls are applied to identify and assess the vendors. Therefore, the fraudsters may plan their fraudulent activities around and onboard inappropriate vendors at higher rates, for which they are compensated by the vendors.
In assessing the motives of fraudsters in a business perspective, it is essential to understand that their motivations often arise from a complex mix of personal desires and external pressures. Greed remains a primary driver, pushing individuals to manipulate systems for personal gain, whether out of a hunger for wealth or a desire for greater status. Some resort to fraudulent behavior as a form of revenge or to demonstrate their cunning ability to outsmart control systems, reflecting an unhealthy competition or a “catch me if you can” mindset.
Others commit fraud out of financial desperation, often resorting to a series of low-value fraudulent activities to evade detection. There are also those who feel inadequately rewarded or recognized, leading to a pathological desire to rectify perceived injustices through fraudulent means. These varied motivations underscore the challenges organizations face in preventing fraud and highlight the need for robust controls, ongoing education, and a strong ethical culture within the organization.