ACUARP Webinar - Mindset of a Fraudster - Wednesday December 13th, 2023 12pm ET
In part, this presentation explores the concepts of rationalization and integrity exhibited by those who commit white-collar crime and focuses on various perspectives.
A “mindset” can be described as the established set of attitudes held by someone.1 In the case of the mindset of fraudsters, or fraud perpetrators, it can include the ability to rationalize their actions and level of personal integrity. This article will examine the fraudster thought process based on what our professionals have observed.
There are three aspects to fraud, often referred to as the “fraud triangle”: pressure, opportunity, and rationalization.2 When thinking about the mindset of individuals who commit white-collar crime, their rationalization is what stands out. In addition, most anti-fraud professionals know that personal integrity can be weighed—along with other factors—to assess the probability of fraud. That model is called “the fraud scale.”3
Understanding rationalization within the mindset of a fraudster may seem easy. A person undergoes outside pressure, essentially backing them into a corner. They see an opportunity to relieve that pressure and come up with a way to rationalize their behavior.
- 1"The Power of Having a Growth Mindset Versus a Fixed Mindset," forbes.com, March 12, 2019.
- 2"The Fraud Triangle," whistleblowers.org.
- 3"Accounting Scandal/Fraud Theory," simonchenliberted.medium.com, November 1, 2021.
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About the Presenters
Vince Cummings, CPA, CFE, MAFF®, CVA®, CIA® is a member of the Forensics & Valuation practice unit at FORVIS. He focuses on providing fraud investigations, damage calculations, forensic accounting, and litigation consulting services. His experience as an investigator and consultant in a variety of industries spans more than 25 years. He works with in-house counsel, outside counsel, and corporate executives concerning forensic accounting investigations and on a wide array of damage calculations to provide expert testimony. Prior to joining FORVIS, Vince worked for global professional service firms and forensic accounting firms/divisions. He was an FBI Special Agent, specializing in white-collar crime. He has performed investigations and audit work throughout the United States and Canada; and in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, England, and Belgium. His experience as an FBI Special Agent and his extensive work with civil damage calculations allow him to bring both civil and criminal expertise to clients.
Matthew Ferris is a consultant with FORVIS’s Forensics and Valuation Services (FVS) division and performs business valuation, forensic accounting, and litigation support services for a wide range of industries. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Accountancy and Master of Professional Accountancy degrees. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Utah.
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