One-third of New Zealand businesses have been victimised by fraud in the past two years, and 70 per cent of these were committed by insiders, reports PwC.\nThe \u2018Big Five Frauds\u2019 affecting local businesses are theft (70 per cent); procurement fraud (19 per cent); bribery and corruption (15 per cent); human resources fraud (15 per cent); and cybercrime (11 per cent), says PwC in its 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey.\nHow to spot the culprits? PwC says the typical New Zealand fraudster is aged 31 to 40 (32 per cent), male (58 per cent), educated to high school level or less (47 per cent), and has been with the company for five years or less (74 per cent).\nNext: How does New Zealand compare with Australia, globally?\nPage Break\nPwC says this year\u2019s survey is one of its most comprehensive reports on economic crime, with 5000 respondents from 95 countries, including New Zealand which had over 80 respondents.\nNew Zealand\u2019s economic crime figures are lower than the global average of 37 per cent, and significantly below neighbouring Australia at 57 per cent.\nWhile business confidence is high and the economic outlook looks bright, fraud is an unfortunate downside for businesses, notes PwC.\n\u201cFraud continues to hit New Zealand companies in the pocket \u2013 and while it can be hard to measure the cost of goods falling off the back of trucks, kickbacks, the theft of intellectual property and ideas \u2013 we know that financial costs are far from the only or most costly concern,\u201d says Eric Lucas, PwC forensic services partner.\n\u201cEconomic crime erodes employee morale, damages external relationships, tarnishes your reputation and the bottom line. This may explain why some fraud goes unreported,\u201d he states.\n\u201cWhile the survey suggests New Zealand ranks lower for economic crime than many other countries, it must be asked whether our organisations are adequately monitoring and aware of fraud and security breaches or simply not reporting them," says Lucas.\nCyber worries are moving up the threat radar and on the minds of the C-suite. Eric Lucas, PwC\n\u201cFor example, global respondents told us around a quarter have been a victim of cybercrime compared to New Zealand\u2019s 11 per cent,\u201d says Lucas. \u201cSignificantly, our respondents expect cybercrime to be double from current reported levels to 22 per cent, over the next two years.\u201d\nLucas says the survey results show New Zealand business leaders are beginning to take the threat of cybercrime seriously, with 4 in 10 worried about cyber threats and the lack of data security. "Cyber worries are moving up the threat radar and on the minds of the C-suite.\u201d\nBeing a systemic problem, cybercrime\u2019s direct economic impact can be exceeded by the effect on employee morale, brand and reputation, notes Lucas.\nRelated: Global Information Security Survey 2014: On the defence\nAre New Zealand organisations prepared for the constantly evolving information security threat landscape? How do they compare with their global counterparts?\nThe survey, meanwhile, found 71 per cent of New Zealand respondents have a whistle-blowing mechanism, with 37 per cent of crime detected through tip-offs. Corporate controls are also responsible for detecting 56 per cent of crimes.\nProcurement fraud: A double threat\nFor the first time this year, PwC asked respondents about procurement fraud, which affected 19 per cent of New Zealand organisations. Procurement fraud is a double threat, says PwC, victimising businesses both in their acquisition of goods and services and in their efforts to compete for new opportunities.\n\u201cThe Canterbury rebuild is continuing apace, we\u2019re trading more with emerging markets, face rapid urbanisation in cities such as Auckland ? and with our digital capabilities eliminating the tyranny of distance businesses have faced for so long ? new threats have arisen with fraudsters increasingly turning to technology to assist their criminal activities,\u201d says Lucas.\n\u201cNew Zealand organisations must remain alert to the threats they face, particularly in this environment where we can expect investment activity to accelerate. Businesses may not know if their organisation is being targeted by fraudsters or not."\nSend news tips and comments to email@example.com\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.\nJoin us on Facebook.