By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager
One fraud expert says the threat of “opportunistic fraud” is more prevalent than many companies might realize.
“This is when people aren’t going into a situation necessarily planning on committing fraud,” said James Rumph, enterprise anti-fraud leader at Columbus-based insurance and financial services company Nationwide. “But then when the opportunity arises, they are able to rationalize it because of outside pressure they might feel.”
Rumph will present on fraud psychology at the Dec. 20 Fraud & Forensic Conference. He said fraud psychology is “really about how we can use behavioral science around fraud to better understand and enhance all phases of fraud risk management.”
Opportunistic fraud is when people might exaggerate the truth or omit parts of the truth as opposed to going into a situation with the full intent to commit fraud from the beginning. He joined the State of Business podcast this week to discuss fraud and what CPAs should know going into 2023.
Rumph said it’s crucial to have professional skepticism throughout your work, as becoming too involved in something might mean missing signs of potential fraud. He said accountants need to have the courage to dig deeper and verify results to fully understand what is happening instead of always believing what someone might say.
“Fraud is not going away,” Rumph said. “But at the same time, the methods people use to commit fraud will continue to evolve.”