7 Surprising Ways to Detect and Deflect Fraud in the Workplace

Posted  December 08, 2016  by  Shred-it

It seems there is a risk of fraud around every corner in the workplace.  

Fraud costs the typical organization 5% of its revenues annually.  

In 2015, asset misappropriation was the most common form of occupational fraud occurring in more than 83% of cases and causing a median loss of $125,000, according to the 2016 Report to the Nations from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

Financial statement fraud occurred in less than 10% of cases and caused a median loss of $975,000.

Corruption cases accounted for 35% of cases and a median loss of $200,000.

While anti-fraud controls and detection methods like surveillance and account reconciliation target fraud risk, there are other ways workplaces can detect and deflect fraud in the workplace. 

7 surprising ways to combat fraud in the workplace:


A strong anti-fraud culture helps deter staff from committing fraud. It has to start with a clear commitment by the C-suite to tackling fraud. Also, there should be a comprehensive response plan including guidelines for dealing with fraudulent behavior in the workplace.

Mobile Device Protection

Incidents of mobile fraud are on the rise, warns the 2016 LexisNexis, The True Cost of Fraud Study. One of the best ways to protect confidential information on mobile devices is to use encryption. Employees should also be aware of social engineering fraud scams that try to trick them into disclosing confidential information.  

Fair Wages

Are employees, in general, happy in their jobs? If staff is unhappy about wages, there may be feelings of resentment and indifference in the workplace... and this could trigger fraudulent activity.

Background Checks

A good way to deal with insider fraud is to stop it before it can start. Protect the workplace – and reduce the risk of hiring criminals – by running appropriate background checks on potential and existing employees.   

Easy ways to report

Provide anti-fraud training so employees are aware of behavioral red flags of fraud (such as financial problems, close association with a third party, and personal problems). Implement a whistle-blowing policy, and set up formal fraud reporting. In research, telephone hotlines were used 39.5% of the time, according to the Report to the Nations. But email (34%) and web-based or online forms (23.5%) together made the internet the more popular reporting method.

Whistle-Blower Protection

Even when a reporting system is in place, it’s important that a workplace empower and support whistle-blowers. What helps? In 2016 Employee Fraudscape research, 13% said ‘a commitment from the organization that they will investigate’; 11% said ‘a commitment that the organization will protect me by ensuring that my job is not affected in any way’; and 23% said ‘a commitment that my identity won’t be revealed without my consent’.

Document Destruction

Partner with a professional document destruction company and implement a Shred-it all Policy so that all documents are securely destroyed when they are no longer needed. The policy will physically reduce the risk of fraud, and it will put the spotlight on the importance of information security in the workplace.

A fraud risk assessment can help determine the risk of fraud in your workplace. Take the Shred-it Fraud Risk Quiz and find out.

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