False Sense of Security and Surprise as a Tactic


Fraud is of all ages and cannot be banned out completely. This may seem like the obvious but not so long ago another company found out that fraud prevention and detection is something that requires continuous attention.

Some years ago already the company had invested in fraud prevention and detection by implementing procedures, new systems and security equipment. While the company had very modern systems to generate relevant information, the information that was produced was hardly looked at after some time let alone analyzed.

Fraudsters know the who, what, how, where, when of internal controls and fraud detection and will know how to avoid or circumvent these. One of the tactics you could consider is surprise. Go out in the middle of the day to do a surprise audit of one or more cash registers. Every now and then pick up the time registrations to see what is actually happening also when you are not there. Why, taking into consideration the workload are some of your employees ‘working’ in the weekend? Could that maybe explain your shrink or leakage? It would not be the first time that is happening. Check the status of different financial accounts especially those where funds appear to be parked temporarily.

While it cannot be denied that investment in policies, procedures, systems, equipment and people is of paramount importance it should not lead to a false sense of security. The investment in fraud prevention and detection is not something you do to sit back and wait. No fraud prevention and detection system is 100% fault proof and fraud is a fact of life. At all times it is important to stay alert. And where a serious suspicion arises, consider calling a professional (organization) instead of trying to do you own investigations. Discretion and safeguarding the relevant evidence are of utmost importance. Employment law, in many jurisdictions is a minefield, but besides that securing and safeguarding evidence is becoming more and more a specialized affair and mistakes may turn out to be very costly and detrimental even for the outcomes of your case.

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