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Crime prevention Hertfordshire

Employee fraud

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You might believe that if an employee uses your business to conduct fraud, you are innocent if you were unaware of that employee's actions. In fact, if an employee uses the business to defraud customers, suppliers or anybody else, the business and the business owner may be held accountable if you did not put in place appropriate controls and procedures to prevent fraud.

Below are some common indicators of employee fraud:

 
  • A new member of staff resigning shortly after joining.
  • Staff with a sudden change of lifestyle, such as new cars or expensive holidays.
  • Changing staff behaviour, such as becoming withdrawn and secretive.
  • Suppliers insist on dealing with particular individuals.
  • False references or qualifications.
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How can I protect my business?

One of the best ways to stop fraudsters getting near your business is to background check any prospective employees to stop those who are already deliberately deceiving you from accessing your accounts and data.
 
  • Obtain a variety of references to confirm their identity and background.
  • Check these thoroughly by calling referees and consider online searches.
  • Check originals of passports and driving licences and retain copies.
  • Ensure new staff members read and sign any fraud policies. This will negate any argument of ignorance of procedures if incidences of fraud are uncovered.
 

Whistleblowing

Larger businesses should consider a whistleblowing policy that installs confidence in staff to raise issues, provides a channel for employees to raise any concerns and reassures them they will be protected if they raise concerns in good faith.
 

Audits

  • Consider audits, both planned and unplanned.  Establish an audit trail for use of financial systems and computer systems so you can see which members of staff have taken particular actions.
  • Include staff expenses and procurement in these audits if you feel these are risk areas.

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