Around one in four small businesses are affected by some kind of fraud every year. It’s a very serious problem that causes billions of pounds in losses, and most businesses have come into contact with a form of fraud, even if the situation didn’t happen to them. While many businesses are becoming more savvy, some don’t believe that they will fall victim to any type of fraudulent interactions.
To prevent fraud in your business, you must first identify where you might be at risk. Risks can come from customers, employees, suppliers, and even your business assets. It’s not just up to your office to be good at identifying risks – everyone involved in your business should be able to at least attempt identifying any fraud risks.
Customers and fraud
For businesses that deal with customers in-person, there is the issue of counterfeit money being used in transactions. Even if your business only accepts card payments online, fake credit or debit cards can be used, or even stolen cards that don’t belong to the person making the purchase.
Identity theft is a huge issue in the world, so even training your staff members in a few basic ways to spot a bad payment or counterfeit money will help keep your business running. Customers can, in this situation, refer to any person who does not directly work for your company, but still has financial dealings with you.
Employees and fraud
When we mention employees and fraud, we definitely aren’t implying that any employees in a business would try to be fraudulent. However, employees are often the target of scams and fraud, because many employees are often the first line of contact in a company and trained to deal with their own situations. Fraud is becoming more sophisticated, and employees are vulnerable to false payments, embezzlement, information theft, and many other issues.
Employees can leave their company susceptible to fraud if they do not have the tools to battle fraud attempts. Always train your employees in the newest fraud techniques, and how to identify fraudulent emails and phone calls.
Training to prevent fraud
Most fraudulent activity can be spotted by putting a few effective processes in place to help minimise or catch illegal behaviour. First, employees must know what to look for, then, they need to know what to do next.
The most common types of fraud in business are those that involve finances – such as accounts payable and accounting issues. To commit fraud, a person must have access to money and accounts in order to make their false payment, steal someone’s identity, or do something similar. Train your employees to ensure they understand your company’s procedures, especially in regard to any payments that need to be made to or from the company. Every employee should follow your company guidelines to the letter and should be able to easily detect spam emails and fake accounts being used for purchases.
Remember: If something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.
Of course, keeping a firm handle on your paperwork can go a long way to preventing fraud in and outside your business. Paperwork theft is still one of the biggest causes of identity theft and fraud in this country, particularly from business owners who throw paperwork with sensitive data on it straight into the recycling bin. If you’d like to know more about how you can protect your business from fraud and still get your recycling fix, just get in touch with us today.