Superannuation Fraud, Theft Prevention and Investigation

The potential for superannuation fraud and theft has never been greater.

The new portability arrangements have highlighted the conflicting requirements on superannuation funds for efficient rollovers while preventing identity theft and other fraud.

When we help trustees and senior management consider appropriate proof of identity checks to put in place and the level of those checks, we put ourselves in the shoes of a fraudster and ask ourselves – “if I was going to undertake fraud against this fund what would be the easiest way to do it ?” This is where we have substantial experience that can only be developed over many years.

With an increase in electronic transactions between superannuation funds, clients and third parties like clearing houses, fund executives need to ensure their systems are safeguarded against external threats through measures such as security applications and firewalls.

Threats that will continue to impact Superannuation Funds include:

  • Theft of rollover fund cheques
  • Increased involvement of criminal gangs
  • Greater number of SMSFs
  • Increased use of false identity is an ongoing challenge
  • Rapid emergence of electronic interactions
  • Breaches of the Counter-Terrorism and Anti-Money Laundering Act
  • Attacks by ‘phishers’

We believe that our experience in superannuation fraud and theft prevention and investigation can greatly assist trustees, senior management and administrators.

Our experience in the superannuation sector that supports our ability to reduce the likelihood of superannuation fraud occurring, or when it does, investigate it, includes:

  • Fraud risk assessments and fraud awareness training at several superannuation funds which have investment divisions.
  • Benchmarking a superannuation fund against the Australian Standard on Fraud and Corruption Control AS8001:2008.
  • A high-level fraud risk review of a large superannuation fund including the capacity of the various outsourced operations.
  • Performing an investigation of a superannuation company that carried out a fraudulent scheme to hide from investors the nature of the investments being acquired, and losses of more than $25 million. This included being appointed as delegate of the Inspector under the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (“APRA”) Act.
  • Reviewing controls of cheque payment procedures for one of Australia’s largest fund managers.
  • Reviewing controls of the funds management area of a leading financial institution after a fraud investigation revealed collusion between client service staff and clients to defraud the company of fees.
  • Acknowledged as a contributor to ASFA’s best practice paper number 20 – ‘Managing the risk of fraud and theft in superannuation funds’.


The prevalence of superannuation fraud and theft is only going to grow as the threats referred to above become more widespread.

Warfield & Associates has the knowledge and expertise to help you with superannuation fraud and theft prevention and investigation.