Covid-19: the perfect storm for employee fraud

Organisations spend thousands of pounds every year protecting themselves from external fraudsters, but could the pandemic increase the threat from within? BLM's Head of White Collar Crime Iskander Fernandez comments in the Raconteur report for The Times.

Businesses have long contended with employee fraud, from false expense claims to data theft. But for some experts, Covid-19 could deepen the danger. 

The pandemic has driven a widescale move to remote working. When combined with the significant economic and social impact of the virus, some believe this could boost the conditions for internal fraud. 

What should be done if internal fraud comes to light? The first step is to mobilise HR, keeping the number of individuals involved to a minimum to avoid any unintended amplification of the issue. The relevant individual should then be interviewed, with the intention of putting the allegation to them and learning why they may have committed fraud.

This may result in the termination of the individual’s employment. However, the process will help the business understand the underlying issues that led to the fraud or may be present across the organisation, “and put in place changes or controls to ensure that the situation isn’t repeated”, says Iskander Fernandez.

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