More than five and a half million offences of fraud are now thought to take place each year, accounting for almost half of all crime in the country.
Fraud can lead to massive problems for a business, whether through significant financial losses, or a loss of public confidence in your firm following an incident.
In light of this our Forensic team have come up with their top tips to help spot the signs of fraud:
Changes in behaviour
It is important to look out for changes in behaviour from members of staff as it could be an indicator of wrongdoing. Keep an eye out for sudden usual behaviours such as acting secretive, an increase in wealth, change in employees’ spending habits and a reluctance to take annual leave.
One key sign that fraud could be taking place is the appearance of new invoices that you are unaware of or were not expecting. Ensure that all invoices have a purpose and can be linked to an action within the business. Invoice fraud is one of the most common methods of fraud.
Expenses account for around 15 per cent of all business fraud, by carefully monitoring expenses you can look out for warning signs including forged receipts, exaggerated claims or overcharging of the company cards. Employees will often turn to expenses as a way of taking money out of the company so an expense review process is vital to limiting misuse of expense accounts.
The use of cash payments in a business can be a sign of fraud as employees can often choose this method of payment as it leaves no paper trail, meaning fees can be exaggerated or manipulated which can provide the opportunity for an employee to take money out of the company. Business-related transactions should be paid via an invoice using a debit/credit card or bank transfer to provide full clarity.
How can Milsted Langdon help?
Our forensic experts are often called as expert witnesses in a range of fraud cases for our clients. If you suspect that your company is the victim of fraud then you should seek specialist advice to discuss the range of options available to you.