Employee fraud has always been a risk for companies, but these days, it's disturbingly common. Whether it's simple office theft or a major crime, employers need to know when their workers are possibly costing them money and putting them at risk. It could happen to you no matter your company's industry, culture or location.
You might not think that much is different about employee fraud today compared to years past. It's not the human impulse to commit fraud that has changed so much as the ways people commit it. If a company is large enough, an employee might figure they can take advantage of the system to get some extra money without getting caught, sometimes by exploiting the payroll or other systems. The disappearance of important files or digital property could also be problematic.
Things get even trickier when you factor in other forms of fraud that can halt your company in its tracks. What happens when a virus strikes one of the computers at your office and starts spreading like wildfire?
Business Insider reported on WannaCry, a type of malicious software called "ransomware" that prevents users from accessing their files or threatens to delete the data unless the victims pay a ransom. An employee might not be directly responsible for something like this, but it can still be important to enforce compliance with laws and policies, especially as these continue to change with the times.
Looking for the signs
All of this is to say that it's just as important as ever to be on the lookout for possible signs of employee fraud, non-compliance, or just plain suspicious activity. Compliance investigations services may be the best way to identify this, but there are other signs to watch for.
- Inadequate tracking: The signs of account fraud can include sudden changes in behavior or mysterious transactions. If an employee is misappropriating funds, it might be useful to have data to back up an investigation, though only if your company goes about this the proper and legally compliant way. Paying attention to patterns and spending can be the basis of a claim that fraud has occurred.
- Lack of oversight: A good first question to ask is whether or not the company has made it easy for employees to get away with crime in the first place. A Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation manual on bank fraud referred to the way lack of oversight or possible policies and codes of ethics could be "warning signs" for companies.
- No training: Another symptom could be the general way your company approaches the real threat of fraud. Are you training and encouraging your employees to call out fraud? If not, you might have a greater risk of something happening simply because workers don't have the right knowledge to combat these threats and identify possible issues.
Using private security services can help your company uncover possible fraud cases and possibly cut down on them yourself. The key is to think ahead and work to stop attempted fraud when you see the warning signs. Frizell Group International can give the assistance you need in the form of business control surveys to help thwart fraud, or corporate-friendly investigations to help identify and catch fraud perpetrators.