Work­place fraud costs more than you re­al­ize

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE - BAR­BARA BOWES

FRAUD has a higher cost than most peo­ple re­al­ize. March is fraud preven­tion month in Canada and a good time to re­view the losses from, and rea­sons for, work­place fraud.

Fraud oc­curs when some­one uses de­ceit, false­hood and/ or any other fraud­u­lent means to steal your money, your prop­erty or some other valu­able. With tech­nol­ogy and glob­al­iza­tion, both the in­ci­dence and in­no­va­tive­ness of fraud has been grow­ing. Some of the more com­mon fraud in­cludes re­quest­ing up­front fees for a prod­uct or ser­vice that doesn’t get de­liv­ered, false billing, coun­ter­feit cheques, writ­ing cheques when there are in­suf­fi­cient funds and/or mis­rep­re­sent­ing the fi­nan­cial ac­tiv­i­ties of a com­pany.

Not long ago, for in­stance, po­lice un­cov­ered a ma­jor mort­gage fraud where peo­ple de­lib­er­ately used false, mis­lead­ing and fraud­u­lent in­for­ma­tion to se­cure a mort­gage. Last year saw an Al­berta man plead guilty to sell­ing coun­ter­feit cancer drugs on the In­ter­net. Car in­surance schemes have also been dis­cov­ered and of course, ev­ery­one is fa­mil­iar with in­ci­dents of per­sonal iden­tity theft and fal­si­fy­ing a re­sumé.

Em­ployee theft or oc­cu­pa­tional fraud, as it is also known, oc­curs when an in­di­vid­ual fraud­u­lently ac­quires com­pany as­sets such as cash, sup­plies or equip­ment.

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