Businesses urged to screen staff regularly over fraud risks

Fraud prevention group Cifas is urging businesses to regularly screen staff following statistics from the Internal Fraud Database revealing dishonest staff actions to be the greatest insider threat to organisations.

More than 180 individuals were recorded to the Internal Fraud Database by Cifas members in the first nine months of 2021, 1 in 11 of which had already been filed to the National Fraud Database for committing fraudulent conduct at the time of their dismissal.

Just under half of these individuals were recorded for committing dishonest actions, such as stealing cash from customers, facilitating transaction fraud or manipulating third party accounts. The second most common conduct filed by organisations was candidates providing false applications. These individuals were mostly aged under 30 and typically either concealed an adverse credit history or employment history during the application process.

Cifas has reminded businesses of the importance of regular screening of staff throughout the employee lifecycle, especially given the increased risks posed by new ways of working during the busy festive period.

Mike Haley, Cifas CEO, said: “The mass shift to staff working from home has created numerous opportunities for dishonest staff to commit fraud against their employer and customers. Some of the in-person controls and safeguards in place prior to the pandemic may be far more difficult to replicate with remote or hybrid working models.

“Organisations should carry out regular screening of their staff, rather than just at the point of hire. Pressures in an employee’s personal life could lead them into committing fraud at any time and so checking against the National Fraud Database at regular intervals is recommended.”

Haley added that cases filed to the Internal Fraud Database only relate to organisations who are part of Cifas membership, so these numbers may only be the tip of the iceberg. “We would like to see more organisations from a wider range of sectors taking the risk of insider fraud seriously and help us to create a more difficult environment for criminals to operate.”

Last year, Cifas launched the Enhanced Internal Fraud Database, allowing organisations to screen job applicants and employees against both the Internal Fraud Database and the National Fraud Database.

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