Preventing Theft and Fraud at Work from Customers and Employees
The best way to prevent theft and fraud is to create an environment where customers and employees don't have a chance to get away with it. Here are a few ways to help your company or business stay safe.
Have Good Policies
Create and post policies outlining acceptable use of company property. This informs employees with good intentions and may deter those who might be tempted to commit theft or fraud. Make sure the policy plainly describes the disciplinary actions that will occur if an employee is caught stealing from the company.
Use Security Cameras
Installing security cameras is a good deterrent for employees who may be considering fraud and theft. Knowing they are being filmed makes these individuals less likely to steal. Set up the cameras in areas where thieves might commit their crimes, such as stockrooms, break rooms or storage areas. Be sure to avoid putting them in bathrooms, dressing rooms or other areas with reasonable expectations of privacy, as this is illegal. Review your CCTV footage regularly to spot unusual activity and boost loss prevention efforts.
Most employees are honest and loyal to their workplace and would not appreciate other employees committing theft or fraud. Encourage tips by setting up a secure, private loss prevention hotline that offers employees a range of reporting options. Include a dedicated email address, phone number and webform and allow whistleblowers to remain anonymous. Emphasize that tips will be kept in confidence and that your company is committed to avoiding retaliation.
For anything higher in value than regular office supplies, installing inventory controls can boost your loss prevention efforts. Lock up cash, electronics and other expensive supplies and only give access as needed. Carefully monitor and track the inventory of these items. Industries that work with especially dangerous or pricey items, such as the technology and medical fields, should take extra precautions.
One of the easiest forms of loss prevention is not hiring thieves in the first place. Pre-screen applicants when hiring by conducting criminal records checks, checking references and, if it’s legal in your state, performing credit checks. If any red flags pop up during this process, investigate further or take that applicant out of the pool.
Reorganize Your Space
A poorly organized store makes it easy for thieves to make off with your merchandise. The store layout should force customers to pass the checkout in order to leave, making it harder for them to slip out with stolen products undetected. Eliminate blind spots by replacing tall displays, where thieves can hide, with lower fixtures.
Post Staff Around the Store
Another way to eliminate blind spots is to post staff members around the store, from the main aisles to dark corners. They should greet customers and offer help as well as keep an eye out for shady behavior. Not only will this improve your customer service, it may also deter potential thieves by reminding them that the store has eyes everywhere.
When scheduling employees, be strategic. Never let anyone work alone, especially those performing money-handling tasks including running the cash registers. Employees who are tempted to steal will have fewer opportunities to do it if someone else is there to hold them accountable. Potential shoplifters will also be under better surveillance if there are multiple employees in the store.
Set Up Security Measures
Security tools are some of the most common and effective loss prevention methods. Cameras, mirrors, security tags, sensors and guards both detect shoplifting and deter criminals. Lock up small, expensive or frequently stolen items. Lock dressing rooms and require large bags to be left at the checkout counter to obstruct common ways that thieves hide their stolen goods.
Hang Anti-Theft Signs
After installing security cameras, remind customers that they are being watched using signage throughout the store. Mention that you can and will prosecute shoplifters. These reminders may spark a fear of being caught strong enough to deter potential criminals.
Reach Out To A Security Company
At the end of the day, hiring a security company is the best way to prevent fraud and theft. Security professionals have it all covered, and know the tricks and tips for everyone to stay safe. Reach out anytime!
(Article insipred by Ann Snook)