Mirko Allwinn, Jens Hoffmann, Sina Tultschinetski & Katrin Streich

Institut Psychologie & Bedrohungsmanagement (I:P:Bm)

Fraudulent behavior from a criminal-psychological perspective – literature review and proposal of an integrative model of the psychology of fraudsters

Fraud leads to billions in financial damage in Germany every year. Affected organizations face the challenge of countering the methods of fraudsters. Many investigative approaches focus on technical procedures and require a high degree of technical adaptation. Regardless of the technical method, psychological approaches can explain the underlying processes and increase the detection rate. This work gives an overview of the current state of research on fraud from a psychological perspective. The focus is on the personality traits of the perpetrators. They constitute a major aspect for the explanation of fraudulent action. An integrative model of fraud is postulated, combining several explanatory approaches and tracing the path from psychological predisposi­tion to an intention and finally to the commitment of a crime.

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