19+ Employee Theft Statistics 2022

Employees are one of the most precious assets of any company. However, their dishonesty and theft can ruin everything, and the company can face a financial breakdown and downfall.

Employ theft is estimated to cost U.S businesses up to $50 billion a year, with around 75% of the employees admitting to stealing from their employers at least once. 

Whether it’s just a general dishonestly or a result of entitlement, employee theft can take many forms with varying degrees.

No matter how much capital and time you spend on strengthening your company and investing in your workers, your business may still be under the threat of employee theft of confidential data, money, and time.

In this article, we are going to discuss 20 employee theft statistics to help you understand where your business may be at risk and how much it could cost your business. Let’s dive right in!


Employee Theft Statistics Key Insights  

  • 95% of businesses encounter problems with employee theft. 
  • 47% of the companies in the U.S have experienced this in the past 24 months. 
  • Organizations around the globe lose 5% of their revenue to employee theft and fraud each year. 
  • Businesses in the U.S lose up to $110 million a day in employee-related crimes. 
  • Time theft schemes impact approximately 75% of all businesses in the U.S. 
  • 75% of the employees admit to stealing from their employers, and 37% of employees have stolen at least twice.
  • Around 79% of theft cases involve more than one employee. The average number of employee employees involved is three. 
  • Only 4% of the employee theft offenders have a fraud history based on the 2016 data. 
  • 85% of the embezzlers worked at the managerial level or above, while 33% worked in the accounting or finance department. 
  • 72% of occupational fraud cases were perpetrated by males than females (28%). 
  • The most common types of employee theft include billing fraud (18%), cash on hand (15%), larceny (11%), payroll (10%), check and payment tempering (10%), cash larceny (9%) and skimming (9%). 
  • 30% of business bankruptcies occur due to employment theft. 

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General Employee Theft Statistics 

Here are 20 employee theft statistics to know:

1. 57% of all the theft cases involve an employee

According to the 2020 PwC report, more than half of the fraud cases in an organization are committed by employees.

In most cases, middle management has the highest chance of involvement due to their in-depth knowledge of the internal systems and controls combined with connections with all types of employees. 

2. 75% of employees have admitted to stealing from their employer 

Around 75% of the employees confessed to stealing from their employers at least once, which means out of every 4 employees, 3 had stolen from their management during their employment period. However, this percentage has decreased by 4% over the last two years.

3. 38% of employee theft cases involve Non-cash and Billing fraud 

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examination report, billing and non-cash frauds are the two highest risk categories representing 38% of employee theft cases.

Inflating the invoice prices, filling false invoices, or submitting an invoice for non-work items comes under billing theft, while non-cash theft includes data theft or inventory theft, such as merchandise.  

4. The average loss per employee theft incident for a retailer is 3x as much as a shoplifting incident

According to a 2021 survey by 2021 National Retail Security, an employee theft incident costs retailers more than $1,500, which is three times higher than $460 per shoplifting incident.

Half of the respondents reported an average loss of $1,000 per employment theft incident.

5. One-third of fraud cases occur due to a lack of internal controls 

Around one-third of the fraud cases happen because companies lack internal controls and lose an estimated 5% of revenue annually.

Typically, a fraud case last 14 months before it gets detected and mostly occurs in the four major departments; operations (15%), accounting (12%), executive and upper management (11%), and sales (11%).  

6. 22% of small businesses fall victim to employee theft

In an anonymous survey, data was collected from 700 small business owners, and 22% of them claimed to be involved in employee theft without getting caught. Cash, time, and electronics are some of the most stolen items.

7. U.S-based businesses lose up to $110 million in employ-related crimes 

Employee theft statistics indicate that businesses in the U.S lose up to $110 million per day and $50 billion a year due to employee theft crimes.

Every 3 out of 4 workers have admitted to stealing from their workplace once a year during their employment.

Some cases are more serious than others. For instance, internal theft can seriously impact your bottom line.

8. 72% of the perpetrators involved in the fraud were men 

Men are more likely to involve in occupational fraud than women. The same study shows that 72% of workplace frauds are committed by men, regardless of their position and level of authority. Besides, those in higher positions account for larger losses than their female counterparts. 

9. 42% of the fraudsters live beyond their means 

According to the statistics, 42% of people who committed workplace fraud lived beyond their means, and 26% of occupational fraudsters had been experiencing financial difficulties.

10. 53% of hoaxers were between the ages of 31 and 45 

According to a 2020 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, 53% of the frauds are committed by employees between 31 to 45 years of age.

Those above the age of 50 accounted for only 10% of the cases. However, the median losses caused by these age groups are by far the highest, $400,000 and $575,000, respectively. 

11. 49% of university degree holders are behind the thefts 

Around 22% of the thefts are performed by high school diploma holders, 27% by university degree holders and 15% of thefts are committed by postgraduate degree holders.

Frauds committed by university degree holders had a median loss of $195,000, while those caused by university degrees had a median loss of more than $100,000.  

12. 88% of theft cases include attempts to hide the fraud 

Employees usually commit theft when they believe they can hide their misdeeds. More than 88% of the offenders try to conceal their crime by creating fraudulent documents (40%), altering physical documents or files (36%), and creating false electronic documents. 12% of cases did not involve any attempts to hide the swindle. 

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13. 41% of the occupational frauds are committed by the general employees  

Managers committed only 35% of frauds, 41% of occupational fraud cases were carried out by the general employees, while owners and executives committed 20% of the frauds, securing about $600,000 for each case, making it the costliest fraud.

14. A Survey of 46% of organizations reported fraud, corruption, and other economic crimes in the last 24 months 

2022 survey of PwC’s Global Economic crime shows that the percentage of organizations that have experienced fraud has remained steady since 2018.

More than 5,000 people across 99 territories about the experience of fraud they faced over the last 24 months.

15. 40% of the fraudsters have experienced HR-related red flags before committing theft. 

Based on the statistics from 2019, 14% of the thieves have received a bad performance review before committing the theft.

In 13% of the cases, it has been observed that employees commit fraud due to the fear of losing their job. 

16. 48% of the employee theft cases were detected through a tip

Based on data from the Report of the Nation 2020, almost half of the occupational fraud cases were detected through tips from the employee, 15% by internal audit, 12% by the management review, while 5% were revealed accidentally.

50% of tips come from the employees, while the rest are from external parties such as vendors, customers, and competitors.

17. 33% of corporate bankruptcies are caused by employee theft

It is estimated that in the United States, one-third of bankruptcies are linked to employee fraud. The total business losses from the bankruptcies total up to $50 billion per year. 

18. 80% of the perpetrators received some kind of Punishment 

80% of the perpetrators face internal discipline from the company in response to theft. Of these, only 5% of owners and executives were terminated compared to 66% of the managers and 76% of employees.

19. 56% of the perpetrators plead guilty  

80% of the perpetrators face internal discipline from the company in response to theft. Of which, only 5% of owners and executives were terminated compared to 66% of the managers and 76% of employees.

20. Organizations with fraud prevention programs tend to spend 42% less on fraud response   

Unfortunately, it is not possible to stay completely safe against employee fraud, but companies that invest in fraud prevention programs are less prone to employee thefts and tend to spend 42% less on fraud response.

A dedicated fraud prevention program can you a lot of money even when the fraud is committed. You can save up to 40% in fines, penalties, and remediation efforts. 

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