The Coffee Break Forensic Series
The External Threat - Fraud and Corruption Risk
Paul Curby and Scott McLintock
The Christmas holiday is upon us. While many of us will be taking time off from work to enjoy time with family and friends, fraudsters and cyber-criminals will be doubling their efforts to try and exploit vulnerabilities that present themselves over the festive season. This includes businesses operating on skeleton staff.
In this episode of The Coffee Break Forensic Series, CurbyMcLintock principals Paul Curby and Scott McLintock discuss some of the external threats in relation to fraud and corruption risk. The overarching theme is to “Trust but Verify.” What do we mean by this? As a basic proposition, 99.9% of interactions in the office context are legitimate and appropriate in nature. Nevertheless, it is worth applying a healthy level of scepticism with all transactions and correspondence such that when you see something that doesn’t seem right, take that extra time to verify that what you are seeing or experiencing is legitimate. A mature compliance culture encourages people to trust but verify. Moreover, a mature compliance culture encourages staff to ask questions when they are not sure about something.
Some things for you and your organisation to consider as we approach the Christmas break include:
- Ensure staff are reminded to stay vigilant over the Christmas break and to report any suspicious activity that might be indicative of misconduct
- Be aware of emails that present as legitimate emails asking you to enter your credentials. They need to be treated with caution and if possible, contact your IT team via a known number to verify that the email is legitimate
- Be aware of requests to change suppler account details. If you do receive such a request, make sure you verify the request by calling the supplier on a known number and speaking with their nominated point of contact
- Make sure that staff covering roles that they are not usually involved in have an adequate handover so they can maintain continuity of business and can ask informed questions if they see something that isn’t quite right
- Be alive to staff or contractors trying to rush though invoices and expense claims. We have a lot to get through before the end of the year but don’t compromise on the necessary undertaking of appropriate checks to verify the legitimacy of the invoice/expense claim
These are just a couple of tips to help keep your organisation safe over the Christmas break. If you would like to discuss any of the above points and need assistance with a possible fraud or other suspicious conduct, please reach out to Paul or Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
CurbyMcLintock is a boutique forensic services firm that helps organisations respond to misconduct matters quickly and efficiently. They can undertake independent investigations where there are allegations of fraud or other misconduct. Our philosophy is to leave an organisation in a better condition than when we arrived.
CurbyMcLintock can also assist with mitigation strategies including training and fraud risk reviews to build resilience against fraud and other risks occurring in the first place. This includes the implementation and management of whistleblower hotlines.
Linkedin – The Coffee Break Forensic Series: The External Threat - Fraud and Corruption Risk
WHO IS CURBYMCLINTOCK?
‘Because fraud happens’, you can’t afford to ignore it. A fraud can have a significant impact on an organisation beyond losses suffered directly from the fraud. There are also the costs associated with investigating, litigating, regulatory ramifications, public relations, staff management and the time required managing the fallout from a fraud.
A proactive approach is a sensible and cost-effective method to prevent fraud occurring in the first instance. We typically find that organisations rely on standard controls supported by policy and procedures as the only line of defence against fraud. This is simply not enough, and your stakeholders and regulators expect you to take a more robust, proactive approach to protecting your organisation from financial loss and other associated risks.
CurbyMcLintock can assist you become fraud resilient by adopting a methodology which combines skilled interviewing techniques and tapping into the knowledge of your staff who are at the coalface of business operations, to help uncover where your organisation is exposed to internal and external fraud. We will then provide you with mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of a fraud incident occurring