Last year was a bumper year for fraudsters, according to KPMG, with the value of frauds committed in 2010 topping £1.37bn.
The volume of fraud cases was the highest recorded by KPMG in its 23 years of tracking these incidents.
According to KMPG's fraud study, public sector cases involved frauds totalling £571m in 2010 – up nearly 20 per cent on the previous year.
"In today's unforgiving economic climate, increasing numbers of people are tempted into committing frauds and large organisations keep a closer eye on frauds, which increase the number of cases that end up before courts," Hitesh Patel, a forensic partner at KPMG told Computing. "It's a double whammy."
The IT function can make a significant impact in fraud detection, through the deployment of business intelligence tools that can detect unusual activity in piles of financial data, said Patel.
But it is a mistake to regard fraud solely as an information problem that can be tackled with better software, he added.
"You need to have an overall fraud strategy. That means making white-collar crime part of your risk analysis. Detection is only one aspect of tackling fraud."
Companies should also be training employees to spot the tell-tale signs of fraud and develop a culture where employees can share any concerns, said Patel.
The value of frauds committed against organisations by their managers increased 20 per cent year-on-year to £419m, the KPMG report revealed.