Last year, a Rio Tinto secretary was charged and placed in jail for a year and a half for stealing more than $300,000 from her employer.

This was not a result of a single incident. The amount the said administrative staff stole reached that magnitude after 5 years of covert fund misappropriation. The accused was in an ideal position to commit the crime due to the fact that she was the one responsible for the management and organisation of travel arrangements and events for her fellow employees. These responsibilities earned her accessibility to a corporate credit card, which she subsequently also used to fund personal expenses.

A manager of any organisation needs to ask themselves – How much do you trust your own employees? Are any of these employees misusing company resources? You need to stop and ask yourself these questions. You should also endeavour to obtain the answers and quickly!

The Australian Institute of Criminology has reported that about 62% of retail thefts “may be perpetrated or facilitated by employees.” Also, a survey undertaken in 2010 revealed that retailers in the country have incurred at least $10 billion in losses due to employee theft and shoplifting. If you operate in the retail industry, or in any other type of enterprise, it pays to give priority to ensuring that your merchandise and corporate assets are not acquired unlawfully.

A key aspect is understanding how staff theft is carried out. You need to put yourself in the shoes of the perpetrator in order to be one step ahead of them and to prevent them from succeeding. Start with the most common strategies and work your way to the more complex ones that employees may carry out.

Pocketing Items or Cash

This can be as simple as taking pens, products displayed on shelves, or bills and quietly slipping them into a concealed pocket or bag when no one is looking. This can be done during office hours and right after or before a sales transaction is performed. An employee can also carry this out purposely after work or before the day begins by sneaking into petty cash drawers, display areas, or supplies storage zones and taking the items or cash they find.

Creating Ghost Accounts

Take payroll processing as an example. The staff handling this may create a fictitious name, include it in your roster of employees and pay a salary to this person. In addition he/she can charge for travel and other reimbursements related to the position assigned to this “ghost staff” member. The funds that are paid to this non-existent person actually funnel into the errant worker’s own account.

Diverting Business Opportunities

It is possible that some employees fraudulently introduce themselves as corporate representatives to some potential clients and allege themselves to be authorized to deal with them. They engage in profitable transactions with the clueless clients and keep the proceeds to themselves.

How do you prevent these acts?

Aside from creating and implementing security policies and guidelines, consider installing a business surveillance system. . CCTV cameras placed in strategic areas of your office or shop is just one of the feasible solutions you can investigate.

To learn how you can secure your enterprise and its premises, talk to the experts at Eversafe. Call them on (03) 900 10 900 or email to schedule a FREE consultation today!