Fearlessly Facing Fraud

Feb 18, 2019

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Once Fraud and or Theft have been established, stay calm and think logically.

Consider:

  • Who are the most obvious people that may be involved;
  • Which opportunities were available to them to manipulate the system and or procedures;
  • How can the losses be contained and evidence secured;
  • Assist with the investigation;
  • Communicate the situation to all staff, urge them to cooperate, be honest and forthcoming with as much information as possible; and
  • ‘Who steals and Why?’ (Refer to previous Uphando posts).

Discovery

This is the point where losses are identified by means of scamming, theft, fraud etc.

For example: When a creditor calls to follow up on outstanding payments which have been paid.

Information, circumstances and or documentary evidence leading up to the discovery is extremely important.

Make sure to secure all evidence to prevent tampering and loss thereof. The available evidence on discovery tends to be the tip of the iceberg; however it’s the starting point of the investigation and as important as all the evidence acquired during the investigation.

Investigation

An investigation is always required, whether an in-house or a formal investigation is decided on.

Ensure that:

  • Events leading up to discovery and thereafter are obtained and analysed.
  • Verify and substantiate the incident and that it is not a mere error.

Evaluate the situation and ask the following questions:

  • What exactly must be investigated;
  • How did the incident have happen;
  • Who is the most likely person;
  • What do you want to do with the outcome of the investigation?

Evidence is Key!

Obtain as much evidence as possible. Remember that ALL evidence is inadmissible until it has been substantiated and verified in relation to the incident.

There are various types of evidence crucial to an incident which may include:

  • Computer programs;
  • Physical hardware;
  • Workplace area;
  • Storerooms, changing rooms for staff, canteen and or open spaces in and around the premises;
  • Witnesses;
  • Standard company procedures;
  • Documentary evidence (emails, printed documents or handwritten notes etc)
  • Photographs
  • Video recordings
  • Real evidence
  • Opinion evidence
  • Hearsay evidence
  • Expert evidence
  • Character evidence
  • Similar fact evidence
  • Direct & Circumstantial evidence
  • Polygraph and or Lie Detection tests
  • Entrapment (probing)
  • Admissions & Confession
  • In Camera evidence
The basic rules to evidence:
  • Only admissible evidence can be used;
  • Evidence must be related to the incident;
  • Testimony of witness;
  • Presentation of documentation; and
  • Defense admits to facts.

Evidence will demonstrate how a loss was suffered and furthermore quantify the loss and identify the areas of risk.

The relevance of evidence must be determined in order to be admissible:

Be very cautious of all requests for changes to information and or procedures i.e creditors calling to change their banking details!
Always verify the request for change with the original source i.e. contact the usual person dealing with the account on the normal office number and CONFIRM the request for change.  Take the precaution a step further and send a follow up email to the regular email address confirming the conversation and request for change in details. Fraudsters normally create VERY realistic documents that look correct but are indeed not.
Contact Uphando Forensic Services and set up a non obligation meeting if you suspect that you or your organisation may have fallen victim to fraud and or theft.

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