There are so many things to be worried about with the COVID-19 pandemic. First and foremost is the health of our family and friends. But let’s not kid ourselves: The health of our economy is important too. People are already out of work, and many more may be out of work in the weeks to come. There are so many uncertainties.
Since I do fraud investigations for a living, fraud is something I’m thinking about a lot. And the fraud risks during this time of uncertainty and economic distress are great!
There are a few reasons for this:
- Many companies have reduced the size of their workforce. The fewer people working, the more difficult things become. There may be increased workloads, which is stressful. There is also often reduced supervision. This creates greater opportunities for fraud to happen, and likely impacts whether or not it will be detected timely.
- Working remotely is a great option if it is possible in your company, but it also creates opportunities for fraud. This is again related to reduced supervision of employees.
- Employees are facing greater financial pressures. This could lead otherwise honest employees to turn to fraud. They may tell themselves they’re just “borrowing” the money. They may justify a theft because of a dire need.