The cost to company
How much does your company lose each year due to theft, fraud or other dishonest activity? Traditionally, tackling fraud and dishonesty in the workplace has been a challenge. No employer wishes to think the unthinkable: that their employees are stealing from them or otherwise defrauding them. In addition, honest employees don’t respond well to overt security measures that may appear to implicate them as fraudsters (for example, random searches or extensive CCTV surveillance). That said, the frequency of fraudulent activity and the large sums of money that are involved means that it’s unwise to ignore the problem.
A recent piece of research, conducted by George Rowland and Nicholas Woods, students at RMIT University, has summarised the available data on theft in the workplace, with some startling results! Figures contained in the study from the Fraud Bureau of Australia suggested that the true figure for workplace fraud, theft and similar activity is somewhere around $2 billion each year. With around 1% of profit lost to fraud each year, it’s clear that the problem is a significant one. Rowland and Woods looked at national and regional datasets, extrapolating the available data to provide information on the situation in Greater Melbourne.
A comparison of various sectors showed that some stood out from the rest when it came to their vulnerability to fraudulent activity; construction, health & social care, and manufacturing were all identified as industries likely to make the greatest number of insurance claims relating to fraudulent activity. The size of each claim was also likely to be significant for each of these industries, particularly construction, in comparison with other sectors. Consideration of all the data presented as part of the research indicated that the construction industry in particular is especially vulnerable to fraudulent activity in the workplace.
The key question arising from this research is how can industries most at risk (particularly the construction industry) put measures in place that will reduce the likelihood of fraud without unnecessarily penalising the honest majority of employees, or putting in place obtrusive, tiresome security measures? In many cases, employing a suitably qualified agency to conduct corporate investigation could be the perfect solution.
Workplace investigation involves discreet, covert information gathering by highly skilled professionals. Investigators can be called in at any stage: if an employer suspects that there is fraud taking place, then a private investigation can gather the evidence needed to pursue disciplinary and/or legal action. Covert information gathering can also be used to discover if fraudulent activity is taking place, or is planned. Given the reluctance of many firms to make a claim on their fraud protection insurance policy, due to the increased premiums that will follow, it makes sense to work proactively to limit fraudulent activity in the first instance: this is where private investigation can provide the discreet, information gathering service that’s needed.
From fraudulent claims through to corruption, misuse of assets and more, RIVICA Investigations & Covert Solutions can offer a high-grade, sensitive solution. Seasoned professionals with decades of experience and a wealth of different techniques at their disposal can collect the evidence you need to support a court case or to underpin any other action you may wish to take.