Category Archives: Economy and Meltdown

Eliminating the Opportunity for Workplace Fraud

The level of enforcement tied to workplace fraud continues to increase- especially during economic downturns. Workplace fraud prevention begins on the inside of an organization. The opportunity for fraud to occur is one of the largest risks a company must work to eliminate. There are a number of anti-fraud techniques and systems that are easy to implement within any organization. When fraud grows out of control within an organization, reputations and public trust are destroyed. To reduce the opportunity for fraud to occur, accounting and money handling responsibilities must be divided. Monitoring and enforcement of anti-fraud programs is necessary in order for the program to be effective and for employees to take it seriously. When employees know they are being watched, their work is being reviewed on a consistent basis and punishments are administered to those who violate anti-fraud policies, there’s less room for fraud to go undetected.

Fighting Fraud

An effective system of internal checks and balances greatly reduces and may even eliminate all opportunity for workplace fraud to occur. Here are 4 tips to help reduce the opportunity for fraud in the workplace:

1. Dividing Responsibility

Create a small team to handle the money handling and accounting responsibilities.  This makes it easier to identify any misallocated funds or errors that could lead to the discovery of a fraud scheme. Dividing responsibilities decreases the opportunity for fraud, as different employees are responsible for separate tasks, making it difficult to explain missing funds or expense forms. Make it known that all financial reports and corporate bank accounts are reviewed item by item- any expenses or charges out of the ordinary will be questioned and investigated. If employees are aware that bank statements and other documents are never reviewed, the opportunity to commit fraud is wide open.

2. Monitoring

Monitoring the anti-fraud program is one of the key success factors in reducing the opportunity for workplace fraud. Implementing anti-fraud systems to detect and deter fraud isn’t enough. Monitoring and assessing identified fraud risks must become an ongoing processes in order for employees to understand the company’s commitment to fighting fraud.  The article “,” published by Deloitte Canada addresses the importance of monitoring anti-fraud programs:

“A final step for management and audit committees is the monitoring of the quality and effectiveness of an entity’s antifraud programs and controls. Monitoring can be done in two ways: through ongoing activities or separate evaluations. Separate evaluations can be performed by internal audit or other interested parties, such as business process owners. Monitoring activities can include timely reconciliations, confirmation of information by external parties, and periodic confirmations from personnel that they understand and comply with the company’s code of conduct.”

3. Anonymous Reporting System

A reporting system must be established in order to allow those who have observed fraud to report it. Reporting systems help reduce the opportunity for , as employees are less likely to commit fraudulent acts, knowing that their fellow employees are watching and are equipped with the proper resources for calling them out on their actions. Many companies receive tips related to workplace fraud through a whistleblower hotline or internal HR teams. Implement a system that provides the opportunity for anonymous reporting, as some individuals will be more apt to bring information forward if they don’t have to expose their identity. Opt for a case management software solution that can be easily integrated to work with existing hotline or reporting systems and platforms, allowing for simplified, multi-channel case entry.  A system that supports multi-channel case entry is important, as tips and reports of observed misconduct can be made via an Internet web form, company intranet and telephone hotline.

4. Effective Case Management

Effective case management reduces the opportunity for fraud within the workplace by providing managers with the ability to launch investigations into fraud-related incidents as soon as a new case is entered. i-Sight for Fraud Investigations uses automatic alerts to notify managers when a new case is entered. Reducing the time it takes to respond to cases, as well as conducting timely investigations, helps end fraudulent acts before they compromise the entire company.

i-Sight dashboards provide managers with the tools to identify common allegations or investigation types, analyze cases by geographic location or other relevant variable and spot patterns and emerging trends. Dashboards communicate complex information quickly. They translate corporate data into rich, graphical presentations using gauges, maps, charts, and other graphics to show multiple results together. Dynamic dashboards also let investigation managers drill-through to other data sources and reports for more detail about what the dashboard is communicating. This is useful for monitoring and tracking fraud related tips and investigations, as the ability to understand the frequency and location of fraudulent events within an organization allows managers to revisit these areas and make amendments to the anti-fraud program.

i-Sight is a case management software platform designed to simplify your process and provide outstanding reports. It’s primarily configured to manage customer complaints and corrective actions, or employee relations, HR & ethics investigations. It’s also used for a variety of other customized case management solutions. We blog at i-Sight.com, providing advice and tips to HR managers and investigators in regards to managing internal investigations.

Protecting Businesses From Fraud ' The Easy Way

The incidence of fraud seems to be on the rise, particularly in most of the leading economies. The US and the UK seem to be the hardest hit, possibly due to being the leading financial centres in the world. Estimates of the cost of fraud are always on the low side as nobody truly knows the scale of this ‘hidden’ crime.

Fraud seems to be a problem that many do not give much importance to until it impacts them. Many people do not take care of themselves, eating and smoking until obesity or cancer impair their lives. The fact that prevention is better than a cure is just as true for fraud as it is for diseases. Given that unlike some aspects of health most fraud is completely preventable at very little cost to an organisation, this is surprising.

By typing ‘how to prevent fraud’ into Google you will find contacts for many expert fraud advisors selling fraud prevention packages. In some, if not most of these cases, the advice will have substantial value to anybody wishing to purchase it. In all likelihood the advice will consist of the following:

1. A examination of the business will be undertaken by the advisors that will include staff interviews and documenting business processes – the work undertaken during the annual statutory audit will be very similar.

2. This review will normally end up with a report about any weaknesses to fraud that might be present. These will be discussed with the management of the business and this will give the opportunity to fix the weak points within the business.

3. The specialist fraud advisor will suggest a ‘fraud policy’ is written and installed by the business. This is a document that sets out the organisation’s policy that it will not tolerate fraud within the organisation and document some of the steps that it has taken to ensure that fraud is considered to be unacceptable by all its staff.

4. The advisors may also offer training to the organisation’s staff in how to recognise fraud and how to take simple measures that are additional to the firm’s own policies that will further help prevent it.

5. Any commercially minded advisor will also ensure that the client business installs a ‘fraud response plan’ that sets out ways that fraud, if it is discovered, is dealt with. High on the list of responses will be contacting the advisors for further advice in dealing with the fraud.

The fraud expert’s advice is certainly an important benefit for the business, especially if it has not thought about the problem of fraud before. However, installing such systems alone will not fully protect the organisation. The reason for this is that the fraudster will be spending more time trying to find the chink in the anti-fraud armor – and many frauds continue to be discovered in businesses that have taken on board significant anti-fraud advice in the past.

Additionally what is needed is a perception that the fraudster might be just about to exploit another opportunity. The business itself needs to be also on the lookout for the same thing. One of the biggest mistakes is to spend vast sums on fraud prevention advice and then to consider the business to be protected. It is complacency that often allows fraud to happen again and again, even after formal anti-fraud advice has been taken.

Initial fraud advice need not be complicated or expensive, so long as an organisation takes on board an ‘anti fraud mind set’ and continues to be aware of the threat of fraud on an ongoing basis. Being seen to be reviewing fraud controls and talking to the staff about fraud risk on a regular basis is likely to be more effective in most companies than a one off visit by a fraud expert.

Mark Jenner is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a Certified Fraud Examiner and has a Masters Degree in Fraud Management. He advises companies on fraud risk and how best to protect themselves from fraud.

A free yearly credit report can help cease fraud

Have you ever went through task of buying a different residence? It can be a very long and drawn out operation. It could possibly take much more should you have never check your free yearly credit report. Most of the people take the time to check the application maybe once or twice yet ignore that once. This is the enormous oversight given that you will never keep your credit score you are going to suffer anytime you want to make a purchase order that call for any type of credit.

I had a major earlier auto that did not hold basically this used to. That regularly right me stumped as well as the engine can vanish from sight alot. It then got to the attachment site were it was never dependable and I began to take a look at yet another for the some new motorized vehicle. I exhausted one or two existence looking for the best treaty and eventually I discovered your vehicle I respected as well as rate was totally reasonably priced.

I talked when using the salesman when we discussed quantities. After we complete of one final price we went through task for financing. I filled out individual credit software and he handed it assist to be able to their particular government. Shortly after he explained the only real approach We possibly be accepted has been which has a bulky all the way down repayment or even an using a co signer. I was kind of stunned well over it and implicit my very own thanks seemed to be recently great.

He shows me how came up after operating the actual recount and that i went through noticed that there is always simple 4 distinct praise that defaulted but I by no means requested a lend ahead of. I started to go through the process of disputing all of the esteem and they necessary tons of paperwork and even a patrol account ahead of they would perhaps visit that.

Every single dispute took a minimum of 60 days and one ones took a bit longer. After this prolonged hindrance I finally went through them handle nevertheless unfortunately mini cooper I wanted seemed to be long gone. Exactly the same unit motorcar had been actually being advertised but I encountered which a couple of thousand dollars added.

This ended up being certainly frustrating and if Providers own taken minute to review my free yearly credit report rather than neglecting which Possible include dodged more or less everything disaster and possibly observed mini cooper I wanted. This is certainly really a vital class to make sure you keep track of your credit score otherwise you could be very pitiful in the end.

Make sure to check your monetary resource evenly and ensure your praise describe is continually in good shape. You could be a victims of identit piracy without even be attentive to which. Evaluation your free yearly credit report usually and ensure in that you will find certainly not bills you probably did certainly not authorize.

Timeshare Fraud – How To Recognize And Avoid It

Does the ideal of purchasing a timeshare vacation package sound exciting? It should be, at the least, an exciting endeavor. Imagine your first inexpensive trip to the beach, a romantic week away or a much-deserved escape from the hustle and stress of the real world!

Ever think ‘timeshare’ only to have fraud be the next thing on your mind? You are not alone. Yet the simple truth of the matter is timeshares are generally a brilliant, safe and accommodating way to experience many popular vacation hotspots or secluded geographical treasures in the United States or abroad.

While purchasing timeshare options are usually safe, there are some common pitfalls – including less-than-honest dealings by some companies offering timeshares. But there are foolproof ways to avoid being caught unaware while searching for and purchasing the timeshare plan best suited for you and your family.

The first rule is an easy one – go with the larger, well-established companies. Common sense tells us that if they have been around for years it is less likely they would ruin their impeccable reputation with any type of fraudulent behavior. This especially holds true during the initial purchase or resale of a timeshare package.

Another important tool used to avoid timeshare fraud is to be certain you fully understand the contents of your contract. For example, a less than reputable company may make it contractually difficult to sell your timeshare in the event you wanted to do so. Contract literature is at best an art form. And since art comes in various disguises and at times carries a subtle dagger, you should be sure of the contents of your timeshare contract. Again, this is simple common sense as you would carefully consider the contents of any contract before signing on the “dotted line.”

Be particularly wary of European and other overseas destinations if you aren’t familiar with the company offering the timeshare. Be wary also of any timeshare company asking for upfront fees before they will engage in the sell of property. Blacklists are available to inform of companies that have engaged in timeshare fraud. Both ordinary citizens who have banned together and wish to inform others of their fraudulent timeshare experiences and timeshare companies have created these blacklists.

As you consider the potential for timeshare fraud, remember that there will always be reputable timeshare companies out there that will be straight up with the facts. This, of, course includes many overseas companies. In that regard, do your own research. Timesharing is a popular and unique way to vacation. Perhaps if you were to ask around there are co-workers or relatives who have purchased timeshare packages and were pleased with all aspects of a certain timesharing company.

Becoming the victim of timeshare fraud is a frustrating and often expensive mistake. Research and planning – including having an attorney with your best interests at heart – will help you avoid the fraudulent companies. To get started in your research about timeshare fraud, just log on to the Internet and visit locations such as http://www.tug2.net or http://www.atimesharesz.com/timesharefraud to do a thorough search.

No matter if you are on the red list or the green, regardless if you are expecting first class accommodations or comfortable down home charm, there will be countless timeshare packages that hold true to another clich

Confronting Mortgage Fraud With Mortgage Database Software

Each day financial institutions are confronted with mortgage fraud risk. Mortgage fraud has become one of the fastest growing financial crimes in the history of the United States. As a result, the federal government has created a special task force to treat mortgage fraud as a type of white collar crime.

Too often the public is ill-informed about how mortgage fraud schemes work. Two types of mortgage fraud are “fraud for profit” and “fraud for property.” Each type of fraud has several schemes and misrepresentations that are characteristic. Mortgage fraud is far reaching and can involve buyers, sellers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, appraisers and other industry professionals looking for financial gain from property sellers and legitimate lenders.

Mortgage Fraud for Property

Mortgage fraud for property (also known as housing fraud) usually involves single borrowers who intend to repay loans, but misrepresent themselves and their financial qualifications in order to secure a mortgage.

Mortgage Fraud for Profit

Mortgage fraud for profit typically involves professionals in the real estate, appraisal or banking business. These individuals committing fraud may engage in numerous illegal activities in effort to skim equity. Activities may include overstating income, assets and/or collateral value. Individuals may look to steal identities to secure or transact loans, overstate appraisal values for purposing of selling a property on multiple occasions and even invent fictitious properties and buyers to help secure loans.

The following three examples of mortgage fraud illustrate current fraud schemes and the parties that might be involved:

1. Real Estate Fraud: In this scenario, a perpetrator may use fraudulent documents to steal the title or deed to the property of a legitimate owner. Often, this individual will then obtain a loan on the property with intent to commit mortgage fraud. The perpetrator typically will then take the money and default on the loan, leaving the legitimate owners with the outstanding debt.

2. Appraisal Fraud: This is a type of fraud that involves property flipping. In appraisal fraud situations, a property is purchased using an initial mortgage. The property is then appraised at a much higher value, using an unscrupulous appraiser who overvalues the property. Finally, the property resold quickly for maximum profit. Other forms of appraisal fraud consist of inflating the value of a property in order to obtain a second mortgage or to pad the commissions of real estate brokers or agents.

3. Mortgage Loan Fraud: In this situation a potential buyer obtains a loan using fraudulent income, credit, employment or appraisal documents to obtain a mortgage for which they are not qualified. Mortgage loan fraud hurts lenders as many unqualified buyers are eventually forced to default on their loans. In many instances, these buyers are assisted by professionals who hope to increase their profits.

Combating Mortgage Fraud

There are several approaches you can take to help mitigate mortgage fraud and risk. It starts with being vigilant. Being aware of potential risk helps keep you alert to potential schemes and deceptive individuals. In the early phases, you may want to work only with reputable professionals whom you can verify. To further reduce mortgage fraud risk, you may want to consider using mortgage fraud software.

Using Mortgage Fraud Software

Mortgage fraud software can help industry professionals reduce the risk of mortgage fraud. Database software such as MIDEX (Mortgage Industry Data Exchange) exists as an industry-contributed repository used for verifying, credentialing and monitoring professionals and companies. has also evolved and now can help with identity verification, credit checks, Social Security fraud checks and criminal background checks.

Mortgage fraud hurts everyone. Being proactive and taking the proper steps may help reduce your risk of being a victim of those that look to perpetrate mortgage fraud.

Michelle Thiel is an advocate for the information industry with an interest in bankruptcy court record, adult age verification and USA Patriot Act compliance.