As more people use mobile phones, more fraud perpetrators target these devices. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, between 2017 and 2018 the number of fraudulent mobile-phone accounts opened grew by 78%. Schemes in which thieves open a phone account in your name and use it to access your bank account, sign up for […]

Privately held businesses aren’t required to conduct fraud risk assessments, but you should do so anyway. In general, there are four ways employees might exploit your system: Fraudulent financial reporting, misappropriation of assets, improper expenditures and illicitly obtained revenue and assets. To prevent these schemes, interview executives and managers to ensure they’re setting the right […]

Background checks don’t inoculate companies against occupational fraud. After all, many thieves have never been caught. Yet these procedures remain critical to fraud prevention. Before conducting checks, obtain written authorization from the job applicant. Depending on the position, you might contact former employers, verify education and professional certifications, and review criminal, credit and driving records. […]

Companies usually take steps to prevent outsiders from infiltrating their organizations and stealing trade secrets. Yet in most cases, the greater danger is internal. Employees may take sensitive information when they leave, or sell it to rivals while still employed. Stop this theft by identifying sensitive information to be protected and where it’s vulnerable. Then […]

The “dark web” has long provided refuge to criminals. Now it’s home to educational fraud guides that provide would-be hackers with detailed instructions on how to breach network security systems with technical and social engineering tools. The guides cover everything from account takeovers to phishing to counterfeit documents to stolen credit cards. An analysis of […]

Kickbacks return a portion of the money exchanged in a business transaction as compensation for favorable treatment. They’re illegal, but you may have trouble identifying kickbacks because they’re often disguised as gifts, travel or entertainment. The main difference is the gift-giver’s intent. Your employees shouldn’t accept gifts offered to improperly influence business decisions or that […]

An employee’s undisclosed conflict of interest can be a serious breach of fiduciary duty to an employer. In fact, when conflicts of interest exist, companies often suffer financial consequences. Uncovering conflicts, particularly when employees are profiting from them, can be difficult. Instead, focus on prevention. Create and communicate a conflict of interest policy that contains […]

Despite the National Do Not Call registry and features such as caller ID, phone fraud is thriving in the mobile phone era. Using spoofed numbers — which appear to be connected to legitimate government offices and businesses or that resemble your own number — fraud perpetrators say anything and everything to try to steal your […]

Defrauded companies lose a median $130,000. But construction companies are hit even harder, with a median loss of $227,000. What can you do to protect your construction business? Tighten your internal controls. In addition to conducting surprise audits, segregate duties — meaning that more than one person handles accounting tasks. Require employee vacations, and have […]