Three Easy Fixes to Help Reduce Fraud

Job rotation and mandatory vacations, rewards for whistleblowers and surprise audits are the three least used anti-fraud controls by organizations that have been victims of employee theft. Less than one-third of organizations employ these methods to deter fraud. Yet, when any one of these three fraud deterrents is present, the crime is detected far faster than with any other anti-fraud control, according to the most recent biannual report of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Rotating jobs and requiring employees to take mandatory vacations so other employees can temporarily fill the position were required at only 16 percent of the ...

How to Avoid Payroll Fraud

In any kind of organization that issues payroll checks to employees, the possibility of payroll fraud exists. Payroll fraud can be perpetrated in a variety of ways. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2012 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse refers to payroll fraud as “any scheme in which an employee causes his or her employer to issue a payment by making false claims for compensation.” Payroll fraud takes the longest time to detect of all types of fraud – a median of three years, the report found. Approximately 9 percent of all asset misappropriation cases involve ...

Expense Reimbursement Fraud: Ten Ways to Protect Your Organization

One of the easiest ways to steal from a company is through expense reimbursements. Last year, approximately 15 percent of all fraud schemes investigated involved expense reimbursement fraud, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners biannual 2014 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. The median loss in these schemes, in which an employee makes a claim for reimbursement for fictitious or inflated business expenses, is $30,000, and the average length of the abuse is two years. Expense fraud happens more frequently in educational institutions as well as religious, charitable and social service groups, the report found. ...

You think your identity has been stolen – What to do

Even though you think you’re keeping your personal information safe, there is still a chance that your identity could be stolen. Last year, more than 13 million Americans are believed to have experienced identity theft. Of those, 332,000 reported it to the Federal Trade Commission. What are the first signs your identity might have been stolen? And what can you do to minimize the damage before the thieves steal from your bank accounts, run up bills on your credit card, use your health insurance coverage or open new accounts in your name? How you’ll know when your identity has been ...

How to keep information secure to avoid identity theft

Nowadays, it seems everyone lives in fear of their identity being stolen – and most of us know someone who has been a victim. The Federal Trade Commission details the four primary areas that you should oversee to ensure your personal information is secure to avoid becoming a victim yourself. Keep your personal information secure offline. Lock financial documents and records in a safe place at home, and be sure nothing is out in the open that a worker or other visitor might come across. At work, lock your wallet or purse in a safe place. Limit what you carry ...

Even after death, identity theft a risk

It’s been estimated that nearly 15 million people annually have their identities stolen in the United States. And, nearly 2.5 million of them are dead, according to ID Analytics. Identity thieves target people who have passed away, in addition to stumbling upon the dead by illicitly obtaining Social Security numbers. The crime often goes months or even years before being noticed. Thieves grab personal information from funeral homes, hospitals, nursing homes and published information. It could be as easy as skimming the obituaries for critical information and illegally purchasing matching Social Security numbers on the Internet. In other instances, identity ...

Switch to Chip Credit Cards Coming by October

In recent months, you may have noticed that new credit cards you receive now have a chip on them in addition to the ubiquitous magnetic stripe. When using your card, you may also have noticed a change in the card reader. Many of them now have a slot in which the card is inserted, rather than swiped. Welcome to the brave new world of EMV. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa – the companies that initially worked together on card technology. American Express, Discover, JCB and UnionPay have since joined the EMV forces. The recent changes you’ve noticed in ...

How long should records be kept?

HOW LONG SHOULD RECORDS BE KEPT? During the past decade, the way some businesses handled their business records made the wrong kind of headlines. As a result, the retention of business records is now subject to increased scrutiny and, in some cases, increased regulation. The trend is for records be kept longer than previously. Proper record retention is not only a matter of avoiding liability – it is critical to the efficient operation of your business. Lost records can result in lost time, lost business and lost tax advantages. Poor record retention can compound the difficulties a business may face ...