When you run a business of any size, there are typically lots of people that you interact with – from employees and contractors to suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders.
It’s no fun to write this, but the truth is individuals in any of these groups may be of the persuasion that they want to try and defraud you and/or your company.
Some of their scamming tactics are bold and obvious, but others operate on a far more low-key, sophisticated basis.
So we’re going to look in this article at how you can spot fraud before it hits your business hard, how to prevent forex scams (for companies in that sector), and how to proactively ensure your company is hack-proof.
From time to time, you will deal with individuals on the supply side who promise the world but are only interested in defrauding you.
Think about suppliers that offer you a deal that seems too good to be true – perhaps they are undercutting industry-standard prices by a considerable margin.
For those interested in reinvesting profits into foreign currencies, be vigilant about individuals who claim to be managing funds delivering eyebrow-raising and improbable results.
The reality is that they won’t deliver as promised, and they may defraud you.
According to reports, employee theft costs American firms a whopping $50bn annually.
You might not want to consider the possibility that a member of staff is defrauding you, but evidently, this is a widespread problem in companies of all types.
Fraud, in this sense, can be far more challenging to detect than somebody stealing a few products from your warehouse. Anyone with access to your accounting software can, in theory, fudge the books so that you maybe don’t even notice small-scale theft. So it’s vital that your accounts are constantly checked and, ideally, independently verified.
Some acts of accounting fraud can be passed off as a mistake, particularly errors in data entry, so you must remain vigilant to the possibility – and, hopefully, this is never a situation you experience – that not all your staff team have good intentions in mind.
While those you know and trust are capable of fraud in the workplace, the digital world we live in presents opportunities for scammers and hackers anywhere on the planet to spoof your company.
It is incredibly difficult to protect your firm against all forms of online fraud, but investing in the right infrastructure – anti-virus, anti-malware, secure servers, and the like – will at least minimize the risk.
You should be rigorous in creating backups of all your data files and storing them securely. You should also be conscious of how many staff members you give administrative power and password management privileges.
Fraud in the workplace can range from the explicit to the almost unforeseeable but invest in the proper defense mechanisms, and you should be just fine.