Discovering the global landscape of fraud detection studies: a bibliometric review

Published date14 June 2021
Date14 June 2021
Subject MatterAccounting & finance,Financial risk/company failure,Financial crime
AuthorAla'a Zuhair Mansour,Aidi Ahmi,Oluwatoyin Muse Johnson Popoola,Asma Znaimat
Discovering the global landscape
of fraud detection studies:
a bibliometric review
Alaa Zuhair Mansour,Aidi Ahmi and
Oluwatoyin Muse Johnson Popoola
Tunku Puteri Intan Saf‌inaz School of Accountancy (TISSA),
Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia, and
Asma Znaimat
Department of Accounting, Princess Sumaya University for Technology,
Amman, Jordan
Purpose This paper aims to present a bibliometricanalysis of publications from the Scopus database on
fraud detectionstudies.
Design/methodology/approach The current research used MicrosoftExcel to conduct the frequency
analysis,VOSviewer for data visualisation and Harzings Publishor Perish for citation metrics and analysis.
Findings In alignment with theseresearch results, the publications on fraud detection studieshave been
consistentlyincreasing since 2005. India was rated f‌irst as the most activecountry in fraud detection research.
Tongji University from China was the most active institutionthat published signif‌icant publications related
to fraud detection research. A total of 160 scholars from 89 various countries and 160 different institutions
publishedseveral fraud detections studies with multi-authorsparticipation in differentlanguages.
Originality/value To the best of the authors knowledge, this study is the f‌irst study to review fraud
detectionspublications in the Scopus science database.
Keywords Bibliometric analysis, Fraud detection, VOSviewer, Harzings Publish or Perish
Paper type Research paper
Hughes et al. (1992) in the Concise OxfordDictionary described fraud as criminal deception;
the use of false representations to gain an unfair advantage. Fraud is as ancient as
humanity itself and can assume many types. However, recently, in the era of technology
(which rendered it simpler for us to connect and probablyincreased our purchasing power)
has also offered more opportunities for fraudulent criminals to commit fraud. Fraud is a
crime and a breach of civil law. Recently, there has been much attention given to fraud
detection such as credit card fraud,bank fraud, insurance fraud, f‌inancial statement fraud,
corporate fraud, publicsector fraud, money laundering. Fraud is a deliberate act that mocks
an organisations rule or politics that illegally helps fraudsters for a f‌inancial benef‌it(Lisic
et al.,2015). Fraud can harm peoples daily living costs and minimise business assurance
and can hinder economies (West and Bhattacharya,2016).
In the 2000s, scandals in Europe and the USA increased the importance of audit. Main
reasons for these scandals are fraudulent f‌inancial statements. The rapid increase in fraud
has affected the economies of both developed and developing countries around the globe
glu and Altunel, 2020;Agrawal et al.,2014). Hence, fraud has become a high-prof‌ile
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.29 No. 2, 2022
pp. 701-720
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JFC-03-2021-0052
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
topic that requires scholars and researchers to investigate further in terms of its impact on
the economies of countries and companies, businesses and f‌inancial institutions (Agrawal
et al.,2014). Additionally, studies have indicated that most countries have experienced
numerous fraud cases that haveled to the loss of millions of dollars (Bhasin, 2015;West and
Bhattacharya, 2016).
The concept of fraud def‌ined as an act that can be perpetrated in three ways; by failing to
disclose information; through false representation and the abuse of position or authority
(Popoola, 2014). The association of certif‌ied fraud examiners (ACFE) created the certif‌ied fraud
examiner certif‌ication in 1988 in response to the demand for fraud detection and prevention
(Nix and Morgan, 2013). Blacks Law Dictionary def‌ine fraud as follows: all multi-farious
means, which human ingenuity can devise and which are resorted to by one individual to get
an advantage over another by false suggestions or suppression of the truth. It includes all
surprise, trick, cunning or dissembling and any unfair way, which another is cheated.
First, we distinguish between fraud prevention and fraud detection. Fraud prevention
def‌ines the f‌irst measures to prevent fraud from occurring (Bolton and Hand, 2002). On the
contrary, fraud detection ensuresthat once fraud is committed, it can be detected as soon as
possible. Start to detect fraud after failure to prevent fraud. For example, we may try to
avoid credit card fraudby carefully saving our cards, but if they have stolen the information
in the card, we must be able to detect the fraud as soon as possible (Bolton and Hand, 2002).
Fraud detection is a discipline,which continually evolves. Whenever one fraud detection
strategy becomes known, perpetrators are going to adopt new tactics and strategies.
Naturally, new perpetrators are now enteringthe f‌ield continuously. Many of them may not
be conscious of the previous effective fraud detection methods and adopt a strategy that
contributes to identif‌iablefraud. This implies that the previous detectiontechniques must be
used and developed newtechnologies must be implemented (Bolton and Hand, 2002).
Fraudulent activities may involve a variety of conditions, containing money laundering,
cybersecurity threats, tax evasion, fraudulent insurance claims, forged bank checks, identity
theft, and terrorist f‌inancing, and in f‌inancial institutions, governments, health care, public
sector and insurance(Mansour et al., 2020;Okoye et al., 2019). For instance, as reported in the
2018 ACFE survey to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, fraud-related losses
exceeded US$7.1bn. The fraud inspectors involved in the certif‌ication estimate that a typical
organisation loses 5% of revenue in any given year due to fraud. ACFEsreportshowsthat
asset misappropriation is the most common type of professional fraud, occurring in more than
89% of cases and causing an average loss of US$114,000. In contrast, f‌inancial statement fraud
occurred in less than 10% of cases, resulting in a median loss of US$800,000 (ACFE, 2018).
This research conducteda bibliometric analysis of published fraud detection researchby
involving the followingresearch questions:
RQ1. What is the current trend andimpact of publication in fraud detection studies?
RQ2. Which are the most productive and inf‌luential countries, institutions and authors
on fraud detection studies?
RQ3. Which are the most prevalent themes of fraud detectionbetween scholars?
RQ4. Which are the most inf‌luential articleson fraud detection studies?
This paper has been divided into four sections containing methodology, f‌indings and
interpretations and discussion of various considerations and problems elaborate in
answering the research questions. This research aimed to gain a deeper understanding of
fraud detection, especially in its increasing worldwide fraud. This study will also help

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