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How to do a preliminary fraud investigation within your own business

How to Do a Preliminary Fraud Investigation Within Your Own Business

With rises in unemployment due to the recent recession people have fallen on hard times; furthermore, this has led to an increase in crime. However, not only has theft and fraud hit our average day to day person, but it has also started to work its way onto businesses as well. With everyone in fear of their positions, a few people have seen this as an opportunity to take advantage of those fears and of the economic climate.

This is why using the correct fraud investigation techniques is important. As you know, there are already governmental bodies that do regulate fraudulent activities both through the police system, as well as specialist bodies. But this does not mean that you should not take action before the horse has bolted, so to speak, instead this is the perfect time to start to invest in your own businesses security, both from inside threats and an outside threat.

As you would expect, there are many methods of securing your business so that you will never need to have fraud investigations interfere with not only your business activities but also with your employees and contractors. The most common fraud investigation usually starts with the administrative team, this is not to say that you should not trust your administrative team, however there are a few methods that are common practice among those admin that are not truly to be trusted, so if you see these symptoms then you should start doing an internal fraud investigation to pin point the person and then report them over the authorities. There are usually two methods of fraud within the administrative team, there is first the take now pay back later technique, and the outright fiddling with the books in order to steal from the company. Both will be explored in more detail below.

The first of the two methods is when money would be essentially ‘borrowed’ making the takings lower than what has actually been produced: this money will then be returned a few days later. In order to spot this there is usually a pattern, for example they are usually paid on the Friday but the money goes on a Wednesday and is returned on the Thursday. If you notice this start overseeing the counting process and see if this pattern changes.

The second of the two is where cash payments are not put through the books, meaning that you may not even know the money is missing. In order to ensure that this is not happening you should ensure that all cash is accounted for by using regular cash lifts and by making sure that if there are any changes on tills, that the time of the change is noted so the offender can be found.

If you do notice fluctuations in money going missing and then appearing and an internal fraud investigation has failed, then always turn it over to the police for a more formal investigation. Fraud is a crime and it also similar to an addiction as some people do not even think they are doing anything wrong as long as it is returned.

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