Regardless of a company’s scale, every business faces susceptibility to employee theft in various forms. According to the CRA, an unsettling 75% of employees said they’ve stolen from their employer at least once. While the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that companies lose an estimated 5% of their total revenues to fraud, which includes employee theft.
Employee theft doesn’t solely stem from individual selfishness; rather, it often mirrors underlying issues within the company’s framework. Instances of product and time theft frequently arise due to managerial oversight gaps or inadequate checks and balances. Conversely, robust internal accounting and accountability mechanisms typically prompt companies to recognize the necessity for engaging private investigators.
Irrespective of the field or service provided, the primary aim of an employee theft investigation remains stopping the financial loss and holding the responsible individuals accountable, often through legal channels.
Our latest post delves into why companies opt for private investigative services and provides guidance on recognizing theft and understanding when the involvement of a private investigator is warranted.
Why Companies Hire Private Investigators to Uncover Employee Theft
Starting a business, whatever the size, involves investing years of hard work, enduring long hours and sacrifices to nurture your business from the ground up. So it goes without saying that it’s truly disheartening when employees choose to steal from what you’ve worked so hard to establish.
Business leaders often deliberate on the necessity of engaging a private investigator for their company. Some feel they feel the issues can be uncovered and dealt with internally. Although that is sometimes the case, experienced private investigators offer a diverse array of distinct advantages that internal employees and departments may not possess.
While local law enforcement can aid in post-incident investigations, being proactive holds numerous benefits, enabling early problem detection or even prevention of theft. Private investigators wield capabilities in surveillance, computer forensics, forensic accounting, and various services that uncover the truth.
The hiring of a private investigator yields unique benefits, particularly for private enterprises. It not only saves money, time, and the inconvenience of involving the police, but also capitalizes on cutting-edge technology and advanced investigative methods. These enable expert surveillance, undercover operations, and interviews that provides objective evidence of wrongdoing, admissible in a court of law.
Spotting Theft and the Need for Private Investigations
Business owners can implement several steps to identify and mitigate the impact of theft. Here are just some of the warning signs that may signal the necessity for an investigation:
- Missing Items: The most apparent red flag is the disappearance of physical items such as cash, checks, merchandise or office supplies. Vigilance and immediate documentation of any suspicious occurrences are crucial.
- Preference for Solitude Among Employees: While there’s nothing inherently suspicious about preferring to work alone, a worker engaged in illicit activities may actively avoid management or colleagues. Be cognizant of individuals consistently being the first to arrive and the last to leave, although this behaviour often correlates with a diligent employee.
- Reluctance to Take Time Off: Most employees appreciate and utilize vacation time. However, those involved in fraudulent activities might refrain from taking time off, fearing exposure of their illegal actions during their absence.
- Living Beyond Means: Employees suddenly flaunting extravagant possessions like pricey attire, jewellery, or high-end vehicles, especially when beyond their regular means, could signal underlying nefarious actions.
These above indicators, especially in conjunction, serve as crucial signals for potential theft issues that may necessitate an investigation and swift action.
Although many of us strive to perceive the good in others, the reality is that the world houses its share of dishonest and fraudulent individuals. We understand that certain circumstances warrant professional guidance and support when individuals or companies seek the truth. If you feel your business may be the victim of employee theft, contact us today for your free consultation. We’re here to help.