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Employee fraud was a boom area even before the recession started. ‘Targeted’ frauds, often backed by organised criminals, are also becoming more common. In these cases, an employee (often using a stolen identity) is ‘planted’ in an organisation with the express intention of carrying out a fraud.
A lack of resources means that police response to fraud is patchy, particularly outside London. When it comes to gathering evidence, the onus is likely to be on the employer.
According to CIFAS, the Credit Industry’s counter-fraud watchdog, warning signs of potential employee fraud include:
If you do suspect fraud, we recommend that you take legal advice immediately. Whilst your main aim will be to obtain evidence that will stand up in court, you should proceed with caution. There is a risk of being taken to an employment tribunal should your suspicions prove incorrect or you act in a way that breaches an employee’s employment law rights. In addition, the way you gather evidence or record personal data on employees must comply with the Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act. Always carry out a full identity check on any new employee.