Zero tolerance attitudes to fraud and creating anti-fraud culture is the narrative to embrace. However, preventions is better than cure, therefore the following should be observed and implemented in order to combat fraud.
Implement internal controls
Internal controls are the plans or programs implemented to safeguard your company’s assets, ensure the integrity of its accounting records and deter and detect fraud and theft. Segregation of duties is an important component of internal control that can reduce the risk of fraud from occurring. For example , a retail store has one cash register employee, One salesperson and one manager. The cash and check register receipts should be tallied by one employee while another prepares the deposit slip and the third brings the deposit to the bank.
This can help reveal any discrepancies in the collections. Internal control programs should be monitored and revised on a consistent basis to ensure they are effective and current with technological and other advances. If you do not have an internal control process or fraud prevention program in place, then you should hire a professional with experience in this area. An expert will analyze the company’s policies and procedures, recommend appropriate programs and assist with implementation.
Certified Fraud examiners and certified public accountants who are certified in financial forensics can help you in establishing antifraud policies an procedures.
These professionals can provide a wide range of services from complete internal control audits and forensic analysis to general and basic consultations.
Live the corporate culture
A positive work environment can prevent employee fraud and theft. There should be a clear organizational structure, written policies and procedures and fair employment practices. An open-door policy can also provide a great fraud prevention system as it gives employees opens lines of communication with management. Business owners and senior management should lead by example and hold every employee accountable for their actions, regardless of position.
Know who you are dealing with
Try to find a seller’s physical address (not a P.O BOX) and phone number. With internet phone services and other web-based technologies, its tough to tell where someone is calling from. Do an online search for the company name and website, and look for reviews. If people report negative experiences, you will have to decide if the offer is worth the risk. After all. A deal is good only if you get a product that actually work as promised.
Know that wiring money is like sending cash
On artists often insist that people wire money, especially overseas, because its nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. Don’t wire money to strangers, to sellers who insist on wire transfers for payment, or to overcome who claims to be a relative or friend in an emergency and wants to keep the request a secret.
Read your monthly statements
Scammers steal account information and then run up charges or commit crimes in your name. Dishonest merchants bill you for monthly members fees an other goods or services without your authorization. If you see charges you don’t recognize or didn’t authorize, contact your bank, card issuer or other creditor immediately.
After disaster, give only to established charities
In the aftermath of a disaster, give to an established charity, rather than one that has sprung up overnight. Pop-up charities probably don’t have the infrastructure to get help to the effected areas or people and they could be collecting the money to finance illegal activity.
Talk to your doctor before you buy health products or treatments
Ask about research that supports a product’s claims and possible risks or side effects. In addition, buy prescription drugs only from licensed pharmacies and herbal clinics. Otherwise, you could end up with products that are fake, expired or mislabeled; in short, products that could be dangerous to your health.
Remember there is no sure thing in investing
If someone contacts you with low-risk, high-return investment opportunities, stay away. When you hear pitches that insist you act now, that guarantee big profits, that promise little or no financial risk or that demand that you send cash immediately, report them to relevant agencies.
Don’t send money to someone you don’t know
Do not send money to an online seller you have never heard of or an online love interest who asks for money. It is best to do business with sites you know and trust . If you buy items through an online auction, consider using a payment option that provides protection, like a credit card. If you think you have found a good deal, but you aren’t familiar with the company, check it out. Type the company or product name into your favorite search engine with terms like review, complaint or scam. See what comes up on the first page of results as well as on the later pages. Never pay fees first for the promise of a big Pay-off later whether it’s for a loan, a job, a grant or a so-called prize.
Don’t agree to deposit a cheque and wire money back
By law, banks have to make funds from deposited cheques available within days, but uncovering a fake cheque can take weeks. You are responsible for the cheques you deposit. If a cheque turns out to be fake, you are responsible for paying back the bank. No matter how convincing the story, someone who overpays with a cheque is almost certainly a scam artist.
Don’t reply to messages asking for personal or financial information.
It doesn’t matter whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text message or an advert. Don’t click on links or call phone numbers included in the message, either. Its called phishing. The crooks behind these messages are trying to trick you into revealing sensitive information. If you got such a message and you are concerned about your account status, call the number on your credit or debit card or your statement and check on it.
Don’t play a foreign lottery.
It is illegal to play a foreign lottery. And yet messages that tout your chances of winning a foreign lottery, or messages that claim you have already won, can be tempting. Inevitably, you have to pay taxes, fees or custom duties to collect your prize. If you must send money to collect, you haven’t won anything. And if you send any money, you will loose it. You wont get any money back, either, regardless of promises or guarantees.
the prevention and deterring of fraud is no longer discretionary. The formulation of a set of pervasive rules where both public and private sector industries are compelled to adopt statute, regulation and governance in relation to setting benchmarks for corporate governance is key to combating fraud. These rules will apply to all persons involved in business, whether the person is an executive, an external auditor, audit committee member or just an employee. The message is clear; effective deterrence of fraud and corruption is no longer discretionary. Non-compliance with these rules and regulations carries penalties and presents reputational risks. Effectively managing fraud risks and deterring these is therefore a must. When the deal is too good think twice.