October is Crime Prevention Month, and experts recently shared some helpful information about four of the most common crime schemes criminals use. In addition to this, they offered some helpful suggestions for implementing best practices in the workplace to prevent the occurrence of these crimes. To protect their companies from risks, business owners must invest plenty of money and time. From weather-related damages to liabilities for products and services, business owners have several issues to address on this topic. However, they often fail to remember the risks of employee actions and behavior, but this is one of the most common causes when it comes to business losses. According to research, the following four crimes are some of the most common employees commit.

1. Tampering with Checks
When this happens, employees use the company’s checks to pay themselves additional wages. They may also find outstanding checks, reissue the checks with themselves listed as the payees and then cash them.

2. Vendor and Billing Schemes
Most companies work with more than one vendor, so employees may add another vendor to the roster that does not exist. They bill the company for items or services that also do not exist, but they are the recipients of the funds.

3. Expense Reimbursement Schemes
Some companies offer reimbursement to employees who must drive and pay for gas or purchase other items out of pocket. Employees carry out this type of scheme when they bill the company for services or travel that did not occur, and they are then reimbursed for their bogus expenses.

4. Payroll Schemes
Employees may change the amount on their checks, and they may also print duplicates of one check in order to cash it multiple times.

Most business owners are not aware that they could have had fraud protection until after it occurs in their company. Although insurance exists to cover such losses, not all businesses have adequate policies in place. Experts recommend all business owners work with their insurance agents to make sure their coverage is tailored to their specific needs. It is also important to review coverage every year, because many companies do not adjust their coverage amounts as their businesses grow larger. The following best practices are also highly recommended by experts:

  • Be sure every position in the organization is accountable to another one, and no position should come with so much power that payments can be authorized without the agreement of another individual or department.
  • Perform a background check on all new employees.
  • Make sure all people who work with accounts payable and receivable take vacation time each year, and there should be another capable person available to handle the absent employee’s work during that time.
  • Periodically review the company’s policy on employee conduct with all workers to make sure they understand.
  • Devise a tip line or system of anonymous tipping for the company to give workers the opportunity to share knowledge or suspicions of unscrupulous behavior of other employees.
  • Do not let any discrepancies be assumed as business operation costs, and be sure to investigate them immediately and thoroughly when they are reported.

Significant losses because of unscrupulous employees can put a major dent in a business’ profits. Such behavior can also bring lawsuits and a bad reputation for a company. In some cases, it may ultimately lead to the business having to close its doors. To learn more staying protected and informed, discuss concerns with an agent.

Source: The Hanover Warns About Four Common Crime Schemes In Business.

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