How to protect your business against fraud
There are a lot of frauds out there that target businesses, big and small. A lot more than you might expect. Therefore, we have set out to provide you with a concise yet meaningful guide on how to protect your business against fraud. There is a lot of attention given to protecting a customer from fraud, while the majority of fraud actually happens to the business. That is why we think this topic is of great importance. Without further ado, let us begin.
Types of frauds you might encounter
Before we can talk about all the frauds that can befall even the best moving and storage companies (though this article is very much applicable to all businesses, big and small), we must first discern what frauds are and in what forms they appear. Therefore, we will now go over various fraudulent behavior one can encounter.
Frauds can generally come from either inside or outside the business. Therefore, we will cover both of them separately.
Insider frauds are all the frauds that come from within the company. These are most often committed by the workforce or by management (middle management is the one that is most commonly found to be fraudulent). This type of fraud is pretty frequent and comes in many different forms, some of which we listed here:
- Procurement of goods and supplies – When trying to protect your business against fraud it is important to know what your company is buying and at what cost. Managers will sometimes order more than needed and report the needed amount, taking the difference for themselves.
- Theft of assets – Pretty common and in most often minor offense is workers stealing company assets. However, this kind of behavior is still unacceptable, and in cases of costly electronic equipment, it can be downright ruinous for small businesses.
- Phantom employees – If your company is large enough, you might have employees that are never actually at work. However, this kind of thing only happens in bigger companies. It is not likely you will be a mover short when working for senior movers.
- Accounting frauds – This is a fraud that can have serious ramifications on a business. Accounting frauds can take a lot of money.
When it comes to outsider frauds, there are two kinds. One is regarding the customers, and the other regarding the contractors. Let us first cover the former.
- Malicious liability claims – You should have cameras around your business to stop all kinds of frivolous lawsuits that can occur when malicious people try to pin an accident (fabricated or not) on your business. Things like someone falling in your parking lot and blaming your company, for example.
- Returning items that are not from your shop – If you are working in retail, you are probably already familiar with these kinds of frauds. They can make it so that you are losing money in just the right amount for it not to be noticed, yet enough to make preparation for your moving budget a pretty difficult affair.
- Bad checks and credit cards – These also occur quite often. Be on the lookout!
It is not common, but it can be devastating when contractors try to trick you. They can do it in a few different ways:
- Overcharging – Making something cost a lot more than it should
- Unfulfilled promises – Not fulfilling what you shook your hands on. Always have a written agreement!
- Kickbacks – Always moving the deadline.
Finally, you should also be on the lookout for professional scammers that can try to take on your business. You can avoid problems like this by consulting aggregate review and recommendation websites like Verified Movers where you will find reputable moving companies to work with. This will help you avoid fraudulent contractors and protect your business from fraud.
How to protect your business against fraud in all forms
There are a lot of ways you can protect yourself from both outsider and insider fraud. First and foremost, be sure to do background checks on your employees. These should include criminal background checks, verifications for education, and past employments. Be sure to evaluate them just how moving guide will tell a customer to evaluate you.
Furthermore, make sure you write company policy on topics critical for the security of the company. This means that you should pay special attention to policies of returning items, bank accounts, forbidden spaces, etc. Protect your accounts with frequent audits. These should come in both insider and outsider form.
Cybersecurity is relevant when you want to protect your business against fraud these days
As we have seen, there is a lot of ways someone can commit fraud against your business. However, there is a whole sphere of common scams that are arising from cyberspace that many businesses find challenging. Protecting vital information from frauds is getting ever more difficult. This is due to the prevalence of the internet and its expansion into every possible nook and cranny of pretty much any business out there. Therefore, there is a lot of damage and pretty devastating theft that one can commit from the comfort of his home with just a keyboard and an internet connection.
How to protect yourself from this kind of fraud? Be sure to limit your employees’ access, to make professional email accounts that are separated from the private ones, and to have passwords that are difficult to breach. Also, be sure that your employees have mandatory computer hygiene and security orientation so they are aware to not, for example, use just any USB the see laying around.
Let us summarise what we have gone over. In short, the single best way to protect your business against fraud is with consistent, written policies. Informality and lack of attention to detail will breed the circumstances fraudulent behavior can thrive in. You need to make sure that you cover all the possible instances of fraud with an official business policy. That way, even if (and it is more a matter of when) the fraud occurs, you will have a contingency plan ready in place. Without those, the best you can do is improvise, in prevention and reaction. That way you are risking frauds being undetected or going unpunished due to a lack of defining protections. Stay safe!