Integrated Security Services, Inc., New York

Employee Theft: Identifying the Red Flags

05 May

Employee Theft PreventionInternal theft, whether it be in a large corporation or small business, can have potentially devastating consequences on multiple levels. Ensure the safety of your company with the services of a licensed private investigator and avoid employee fraud.

As a boss or manager, you’d like to think that you have a good grasp on the personalities of your employees. After all, chances are that you personally interviewed and hired this person to join your team of dependable and proficient workers.

You maintain working relationships with these people all day, whether at your desk or by the water cooler, and over time you earn their trust and expect them to do the best job possible.

After all, they work for you, not against you. Yet when red flags start to appear and the numbers don’t add up, a reluctance to look within your own business seems understandable. Your employees wouldn’t steal from their own company, right?

Wrong. Statistically speaking, a typical organization loses around 5% of its annual revenue to employee fraud. Recently, the Department of Justice reported findings that nearly one-third of all employees commit some degree of employee theft. And those who do commit theft are more likely to be repeat offenders.

Red Flags

One of the major issues with employee theft is that it’s simply very difficult to spot. When thinking about someone stealing from your company, it’s more likely you’re picturing someone in a ski mask rather than a company uniform.

After all, part of being a good employer is maintaining good relations with the people you work with, and constant suspicion doesn’t necessarily translate to a healthy environment.

Unfortunately, employee theft is far too common to just ignore, and while a missing stapler or a few dollars from the register may seem harmless in the grand scheme of things, it’s very possible that other, more detrimental crimes are happening in plain sight. So what are some red flags indicative of serious employee theft?

  • Unexplained inventory shortages
  • Sales reports don’t match shipping documents
  • High number of altered or voided sales transactions
  • Incomplete or false customer information
  • Lack of documents to justify inventory write-offs
  • Unsubstantiated missing receipts or invoices
  • Observing unexplained or suspicious employee behavior

Don’t Ignore the Problem

Internal theft can hit even large businesses hard financially and literally crumble smaller businesses. So if you’ve been noticing something peculiar in the books or register, why take any chances? However, most legal experts advise against making accusations in the office, as they can potentially damage your relationships with other employees or even lead to lawsuits if you end up falsely charging someone by accident.

You could solicit the assistance of law enforcement to conduct an investigation, but involving the police assumes the risk of leaked information, which for larger companies could garner a swarm of negative press and poison the work environment.

Security Solutions

The most logical solution to these issues is to is to retain the services of a license private investigator. Integrated Security utilizes an array of proven techniques to collect data, such as posing as an anonymous shopper — an excellent tool to survey and observe workers in the retail industry.

Integrated also incorporates vigorous and detailed background checks to investigate whether that model employee may actually be hiding a criminal past. And around the clock surveillance can help investigators formulate whether the suspect shows signs or patterns of illicit behavior and unethical judgment.

With Integrated Security, a licensed private investigative firm, you’re signing up for the guarantee of a prompt and confidential investigation, as well as the ensured safety of your company’s finances.