Nearly a third of global firms aren’t currently monitoring employee fraud, exposing their business to greater risks as new forms of deception emerge. This concerning fact was uncovered by employment screening and identity expert, Sterling.
According to a poll conducted during its recent webinar, Fraud and the new world of work: How to reduce risk, 29% of employers worldwide currently don’t have a system in place to track fraud in the workplace. However, as Sterling highlighted, the growing sophistication of fraudulent schemes — both globally and regionally — makes this, along with the rescreening of staff, critical.
The firm highlighted the uptick in new types of fraud that employers are facing as the growth of remote working, digital transformation, and the gig economy continues to accelerate. This includes identity fraud and more regionalised challenges such as moonlighting, which is impacting the APAC region in particular.
According to Sterling, the screening remit itself is also evolving quickly. While elements such as digital transformation present the potential for greater risk, it also provides firms with an opportunity to improve screening and vetting processes.
As Steve Smith, President International at Sterling, explained, companies need to monitor for possible worker fraud not only to mitigate against risks to the business, but also to prevent the potential exploitation of others:
“The fraud that businesses are exposed to today is not only far more sophisticated but also takes on many more forms than most firms are perhaps even aware of. Digital transformation has made it easier for identity fraud and theft to impact recruitment processes. Not only does this present a risk for firms in terms of the safety of their workforce, clients, and their data, but it also presents a threat for those at risk of exploitation. However, there is an opportunity now for screening and vetting processes to be streamlined and improved using innovative new tools to not only reduce the threat of employee fraud, but also improve the experience of candidates.
“With remote hiring and the growth of gig workers, there are people who are being employed to deliver work, without needing to be seen in person. If the identity of the individual who is actually doing the work cannot be fully verified and if it can’t be confirmed that this same person is the one being paid, there is the significant potential that someone is being exploited. Modern slavery is a very real issue today and employers may have no idea that this is in issue in their gig or temporary workforces.
“The growth of moonlighting is also of real concern. Staff working remotely can have more than one job which, if not declared, could lead to an issue with productivity for businesses. We’re seeing an increase in firms choosing to rescreen staff to weed out any signs of fraud that may have become prevalent since employment contracts were signed, but the fact that almost a third of firms aren’t monitoring for employee fraud at all is a concern. Employers do need to stay on top of this issue, or risk the damage to their reputation and staff productivity levels, or more concerningly face data theft or criminal activity linked to their business.”