Keeping Predators at Bay: Protecting Company Assets from Outside Threats

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No matter what industry you are in, no matter what your assets include, inventory, money, information and other resources critical to you and your business are vulnerable to predators, outside of your company, who will go to great lengths to steal them.

All businesses suffer from fraud and theft:

  • The retailer is susceptible to shoplifters, check and credit card fraud, counterfeiters, quick-change artists, vendor theft, robbers and burglars.
  • The contractor may have building materials stolen from the job site, confidential bid information that gets compromised, or has his business checks stolen.
  • The hotdog vendor could lose his credit rating to an identity thief.
  • The corporate headhunter isn’t immune from these external attacks either; sensitive client lists, candidate databases, and office equipment, are all up for grabs.

    What business is not subject to scams that run the gamut from simple charities fraud to the much more complicated credit fraud schemes?

    The U. S. Department of Justice predicts that losses to business crime surpass $200 billion dollars each year and that shoplifting alone costs the American public over $27 billion dollars annually.

    The most important point to understand is that it will continue to happen unless you decide not to be a victim any longer; until you get angry and fight to reclaim your livelihood.

    I’m not suggesting paranoia, I’m preaching survival.

    Awareness, understanding, and prevention are absolutely essential in order to defend yourself against these losses; once you are aware that these thefts occur and you understand how they are committed then, and only then, can you identify and develop measures to prevent them.

    As alluded to in the previous examples, fraud and theft typically include:

  • Shoplifting
  • Check Fraud
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Refund Fraud
  • Robberies and Burglaries
  • Counterfeit Currency
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Corporate Espionage
  • Vendor Theft/ Delivery Shortages
  • Scams and other Frauds including Identity Theft and Credit Fraud

    Of course not all businesses are subject to every type of theft, but all businesses are subject to at least one on the list. My hope is that you research further to gain an awareness and an understanding of each type of loss so that you may be proactive in identifying and preventing these crimes in your business.

    If you need help, contact a professional.

    L. Scott Harrell is a private investigator and principal of CompassPoint Investigations, an investigative agency with offices in the Southeast United States specializing in the prevention of fraud, theft and embezzlement within small to medium-sized businesses.

    More information regarding CompassPoint Investigations and our work can be found on the internet:

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