Signs Your Employees Are Stealing from You

Lst Updted: My 1, 2018
re your employees steling from your business? How cn you tell? Here re 12 signs tht you hve some sticky fingers on your pyroll. 

plce theft is more common thn most smll business owners think. ccording to statistics, bout 75% of employees hve stolen from their employer once nd bout 38% hve stolen t lest twice. (Click to tweet When you include theft of , the percent of employees tht hve stolen from their employer goes up to whopping 95%!

How much does ll this plce frud cost smll businesses? ccording to 2016 report from the ssocition of Certified Frud Exminers, the medin loss is $180,000 for both big nd smll privtely held businesses, but for smll businesses the loss is much more devstting thn it is for big business.  In fct, some estimtes sy tht 30 percent of smll business fil becuse of employee theft.

Smll businesses tend to be vulnerble to employee frud becuse they hve procedures in plce to prevent it, nd becuse small business owners often don’t believe trusted employees — or their business partners — would steal from them.

Theft tkes mny forms. mong them,

How do you know if employee theft is hppening to you? In some cses you’ll get tip from customer or vendor or n employee.  Somes you’ll stumble on frud by ccident.  But in mny cses the frud will go on under your nose. 

You nd your mngers should be wtching for behviors tht might indicte tht you’re being ripped off.  (But remember, unusul for mnger or upper-level employee to be the perpetrtor.)

If you didn’t give the employee substntil rise, where did the new cr, the new TV, nd the new house come from?

The employee who used to hte mornings now comes to long before nybody else rrives, nd stys much lter.

Some people better on their own but if tht otherwise outgoing employee suddenly decides tht they wnt to in “quieter tmosphere,” tht could be red flg.

If you strt seeing two employees strike up new friendship—nd they’re both cting little odd, inigte.

Being friendly isn’t red flg, by itself.  But giving wy free bsketbll gme tickets nd nice mels could indicte tht the employee hs been pushing business to tht vendor in exchnge for some gifts tht he or she shouldn’t hve.

If you cn’t trce it to life event, dig little deeper. There might be something going on where theft is occurring but the employee doesn’t wnt to be there when hppening.

If you hve n employee who is never bsent, nd never tkes vctions, be suspicious. Yes, they might be very dedicted employee with no other “life.” But they could lso be crook who is frid their scm will be discovered if someone fills in for them when they’re in the offic.

If you strt seeing strnge crs sitting outside your business, write down the license plte nd possibly cll the police. Especilly if they’re round dumpster or other plce tht my indicte they’re picking something up.

If you strt seeing more refunds, chrge bcks, or voiding of sles, to inigte further.

gin, you’re looking for chnges in behvior. If the number of dmged goods strts rising, something is likely going on.

If something isn’t dding up in the books, or there re some suspicious ledger entries, once might be n honest mistke but 2 s or more could indicte something’s going on.

If you hve n employee whose computer screen goes blck, or chnges suddenly s you pproch their desk, nd it hppens repetedly, there’s good they’re spending lot of on things they wnt you to see. Be suspicious. Besides theft of goods or , if they re visiting unscrupulous sites, they could get computer tht endngers your entire opertion.

Remember tht you’re first looking for ptterns of behvior nd other signs tht might indicte problem. ccuse nybody, but do inigte.

If you find tht there is evidence of theft, docut your proof. Think of it this wy: If you hd to testify in court, how would you present the evidence in wy tht would leve no doubt tht the theft ws occurring? Cn you get video evidence? Does your finncil softwre log ll ctions, is there something in n employee’s  e-mil tht you cn pull up? Did  you get tip from someone who will confirm the story?

When you tinte the employee, follow the procedures you hve in your employee hndbook. lso, tke precutions before tinting the empoyee to protect compny dt nd to prevent the individul from trying to cover up proof of their misdeeds.  

If possible, lock them out of ll compny systems including their e-mil, Google docs, dropbox, nd ny other service immeditely before you tinte them. If you cn’t do this until fter you tinte the employee, wlk them to the door nd do give them ccess to their desk, computer or other devices.  (Then cut off ll ccess.) You cn mil ny personl effects to the employee’s home ddress.)

If you hve proof of the theft nd the mount is substntil, cll the police nd report the theft. 

RELTED: Are Employees Stealing from You? Tips to Prevent Employee Theft

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