Whether you are a business leader or you are an employee of a company, if you suspect that there has been fraud at work, you need to know what to do. Whether somebody has used the boss’s signature on some blank checks and taken them away in their purse, or you have overheard a conversation about buying products at a discount from the warehouse, you need to be able to be vigilant when things like this happen.
If you’re a business owner especially, you need to know if someone is committing fraud in your company because it’s going to cost you money. A criminal justice attorney Can give you the lowdown on what happens to those who are convicted of fraud, but being able to spot the signs of it happening in the first place is super important. If you do suspect somebody in your business is committing fraud and you want to do the right thing, then you need to take these certain steps.
- Take a look at your company handbook for your fraud reporting policies. If you are not the company owner, you probably don’t know what these are until you look into them. There should be a fraud reporting and investigation policy available in your company handbook and that should give you the information that you need to report suspicious activity. More often than not, companies have several ways for you to report a fraud, and that could be anything from calling toll free help, no numbers, to completing forms online.
- Gather as much evidence as you can. From the concerns that you are having to the evidence you’ve noticed and CCTV and timelines, you need to document everything, Cover what happened, the dates and the times it occurred, and whether you believe certain individuals to be involved. If you have the right access to documentation to support your concern, you should make sure that you get some copies ahead of making a report.
- Go up. If you don’t have a formal reporting policy, when you suspect a crime, report your concerns to your manager or at least 2 levels above the fraudster. You want to be able to protect yourself if there is a perpetrator in collusion with their direct supervisor. The last thing you want is to report someone, only to find out that you’ve reported them to somebody who’s involved and get yourself fired in the process.
- Don’t discuss it with anyone else. If you do have suspicions of somebody’s committing fraud at work, don’t start talking about it to other people. Not only do you need to protect yourself, you need to protect the company. Any statements that you could make innocently or in passing could be considered to be detrimental and defamatory in nature. The idea is not to complicate matters, but to keep it as private as possible until you know for sure of what you’ve seen.
Fraud is no joke in the workplace and if it’s something that you suspect then you need to report it and gather your evidence as much as possible before you go ahead.