Do you think your business is safe from employee fraud? It’s more prevalent than you might think. According to a 2012 report from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, a typical organization loses five percent of its yearly revenue to employee fraud. In addition, small businesses are more vulnerable to employee fraud because they typically employ fewer anti-fraud controls than their larger counterparts, ACFE says.
So what should you do? At a recent BBB seminar on the issue, Officer Shawn Wright from the Ashwaubenon Police Department discussed ways that small businesses can prevent employee theft, and minimize losses if theft does occur. Below are his top three tips:
The Wisconsin Court System has an online, searchable database of Circuit Court Access, which is a free and convenient way for you to perform background checks on potential employees. The database includes family court cases (divorce, child custody), small claims court cases, criminal cases and even traffic citations. All you need is the person’s name (first, last and middle initial) and date of birth to access Wisconsin court case files. Date of birth and middle initial aren’t always necessary, but it helps to filter your search when there are multiple people with the same name. Many other states have similar online, searchable databases, so you should check court records in other states where your job candidates have lived. Here’s the link for Wisconsin’s circuit court access: ccap.wicourts.gov
Record serial numbers of equipment and tools. It makes returning stolen property to you much easier.
Use invisible ink to mark your equipment. Again, it makes returning stolen property to you much easier. Law enforcement investigators often scan recovered property with black lights (which enables them to see invisible ink) to find the rightful owners of property they’ve recovered from thieves.