The tough economic climate which has prevailed in the UK since the double-dip recession first reared its ugly head in 2008 is continuing to bite. The latest sign that times are hard for many isthe recent rise in fraudulent acts, committed both by individuals and corporations, which is plaguing honest businesses across the UK. Identify theft more than doubled in value in 2012, and the trade of counterfeit goods has now hit a five-year high. Companies are also seeing a dramatic rise in ‘insider fraud’, which accounted for 80 percent of the total fraud-related financial losses last year.
With the financial climate still very much in recovery mode, businesses are fighting for their lives out there not just to succeed, but simply to stay afloat. With corporate and employee fraud on the rise, it’s essential businesses can trust their customers, suppliers and staff.There are plenty of free company checking websitesoffering an invaluable service that allows you to conduct a full background and credit check on suppliers and corporate customers before you choose to do business with them. This is just one measure of reducing your exposure to corporate fraud. Here are four more…
- Know your people
If you employ seasonal or temporary staff your risk of fraud will rise, simply because of the increase in new and unknown faces working for the company. In this case you should conduct a thorough audit of the specific weaknesses you face and implement internal processes which identify and nullify the risk of fraud.
- Keep a close eye on your credit rating
Many businesses regularly use Company Credit reports to monitor their credit rating. Any refusal for credit which seems contradictory to an otherwise positive credit rating should be viewed with suspicion, as this may be a sign your credit rating has been damaged by fraud. By contacting a Credit Reference Agency you can review the information held about your business and check everything is as it should be. If you do identify any discrepancies, the Credit Rating Agency will be able to advise you on your next step.
- Fraudsters start small
Most fraudulent employees will start by taking small amounts of money to test the water and see whether the fraud is detected. By carefully checking your bank statements for any small, unsolicited use of the company account, you will be able to nip fraudulent activity in the bud and trace the culprit before any lasting damage is done.
- Are your customers credit worthy?
Before you offer your customers a credit facility, it is essential you conduct the relevant checks to ensure the details they have given you are correct, and they are creditworthy. With the customer’s permission you can access their credit reports to make the necessary checks you need for peace of mind.
What are your thoughts on corporate fraud? Have you ever been the victim of a fraudulent act? Perhaps you have implemented antifraud measures we have not covered in this blog? We’d love to hear from you so please leave your comments below.