White collar crime involves everything from IPR violations to market manipulations to money laundering. It’s important that business owners are aware of the common signs so they can protect their company and employees. Here are five warning signs of white collar criminal behaviors.
Every act of fraud involves three basic factors: economic need, hidden opportunity and rationalization. Employees who have great economic needs may either openly live beyond their means or suddenly experience major events like sickness or personal financial woes. Companies that lack strong internal controls that mandate accountability and transparency will provide plenty of opportunities for fraud. Employees who display disregard for policies and ethical standards may more easily rationalize their fraudulent actions.
White collar criminals often are hard workers who always volunteer to work longer hours or stay after work. Their strong work ethic and constant availability result in managers often assigning them with important duties. Thus, they gain access to confidential information or become solely responsible for key financial tasks. They may even avoid implementing internal controls and procedures because they claim they are focused on efficiency. Some white collar criminals display excessive amounts of attention for their coworkers in order to gain trust and establish credibility.
Poor accounting records and late financial updates as are a sign of white collar crimes. One of the earliest warning signs of fraud is missing documentation, such as receipts or invoices. Sometimes, business performance is inconsistent with reported financial information. This may appear in the form of impressive sales numbers and many customers, but low revenue results. Profit and loss statements may reveal loses through the sudden increase of specific costs, such as office supplies.
Abnormal Work Habits
White collar criminals often build up large amounts of sick and vacation leave because they dislike taking time from work. Certain types of white-collar crimes, such as a financial fraud, require constant attention so most banks require employees to consistently take time off work. Employers should be aware of sudden changes in work locations or increases in hours work. Be aware of employees who suddenly insist on increasing their workloads or gaining access to sensitive account information.
White collar crime may be committed by vendors and suppliers. Some white collar criminals will send fake invoices that are similar to existing clients and companies. The majority of legitimate invoices are folded and sent through the mail, illegitimate invoices will most likely not be folded. Consecutively numbered invoices indicate that the business only has one client, which is highly suspicious.
To protect your business and your employees, it’s important to know the warning signs of white collar crime. It’s also important to speak with a Jacksonville attorney when dealing with situations like this. Legal help is essential to protect you and your business.