Are you guilty of workplace fraud?

It would be naive to think fraud doesn’t exist within the workplace. Some cases are petty, others are complex - regardless of the scale or the scope of the fraud; this is still a criminal act.

Workplace crimes cost UK companies millions of pounds in lost revenue each year. This doesn’t even take into consideration the cost of trying to combat the act of fraud each year, or the training required to tackle and prevent fraudulent acts against the company.

It takes many guises and fraud within the workplace is a disease that’s dishonest, deceitful and a huge drain on business resources. The big question is how do you tackle this type of crime and what exactly does workplace fraud consist of?

Understanding the different types of white collar crimes can be a useful exercise. The more you know about fraud the better equipped you are to tackle the problem and hopefully, eliminate it from your workplace culture.

Crimes committed within the workplace      

Petty pilfering

Have you ever helped yourself to a pen or a jotter pad from the office stationery cupboard and taken that home with you? Don’t blush, this is a classic example of petty office theft and it’s more common than you might think.  Petty acts of fraud might seem trivial to some people, the more this happens though, the bigger the drain this is on the company. Classic examples include:

·         Taking supplies from work home with you

·         Using work phone for private calls

·         Sneaking off work early

·         Taking too long for lunch

·         Arriving to work late

·         Using office equipment for personal use (photocopying documents etc)

·         Sending private emails on company time

Have you done any of the above recently? A high percentage of workers wouldn’t think twice about committing any of these minor acts. They would view this as a perk of the job little realising the dishonesty involved with their actions.

Petty pilfering and a slight bending of company rules might not seem to be fraudulent at the time, if you took a step back though and thought about your actions and the consequences this would bring, there’s a good chance you’d think twice before you committed such acts.   

Serious acts of workplace fraud

Taking a pen home with you at night might not seem like the crime of the century but technically, your boss could view this in a slightly different way. Most working cultures accept this type of behaviour. It’s when crimes are more devious and involve a higher level of deception that serious acts of frauds take place.

Examples of this include:

  • Theft of intellectual property by the individual
  • Passing business details to rival companies
  • Giving sensitive client information to the criminal fraternity
  •  Altering data stored on systems
  • Impersonating other people by cloning their details and setting up false accounts
  • Stealing from the company and concealing the action

Of course, set procedures have to be adhered to if you suspect somebody at work is guilty of committing acts of fraud. Internal and external investigations are one option to consider. This would undoubtedly incorporate some aspect of fraud investigation interviewing and for this special training would be required.  

We can assist in this area at Focus Training. We deliver target driven tuition that helps you acquire the skills and knowledge you need to successfully combat fraud within the workplace.  

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