4Thought Blog

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Attention Franchisees: Payments Fraud at All Time High

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Sep 4, 2018

Payments fraud is at an all-time high, according to the latest Association of Finance Professionals Payments Fraud and Control Survey.

A new record was set in 2017 with 78% of all organizations surveyed being touched by some type of payments fraud. So, how does that break out by payment category?

  • Checks 74%
  • Wire transfers 48%
  • Commercial credit cards 30%
  • ACH debits 28%
  • ACH credits 13%
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Topics: Fraud, Business consulting

Business Fraud: Prevention Strategies, Key Indicators to Lookout For

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jul 24, 2018

In March, the Lehigh Valley’s GDP hit a record $39 billion. This is fantastic economic news for the Lehigh Valley, but it should be a warning to business leaders to continue to monitor their business environments. In times where business is booming, it’s human nature to take the foot off the gas and allow items to slip through, creating cracks that can turn into gaping holes if left unattended.

Fraud prevention is vital to any organization. The 2018 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Report to the Nations noted the median loss in business with less than 100 employees was about $200,000, while those with more than 100 employees was about $104,000.

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Topics: Fraud

Nonprofits, Closely-Held Businesses Continue to be Employee Fraud Victims, Study Finds

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jun 12, 2018

Would you leave the front door unlocked to your closely-held business or nonprofit organization? Of course not. That would give thieves easy access to your assets. Yet a surprising number of organizations don't have strong antifraud controls in place to protect against dishonest people inside their organizations. And theft from insiders — also referred to as "occupational fraud" — can be costly.

Fraud losses vary significantly, depending on the nature of the scam and how soon it's detected. Globally, the median loss is $130,000, according to the findings from the 2018 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Here's a closer look at who was affected and how much was lost, as reported in the latest version of this biennial study.

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Topics: Fraud, Nonprofit Organizations

Fraud Prevention & Protection: Five Strategies for Your Business

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jan 25, 2018

As we enter 2018, employee fraud is a significant problem faced by many organizations of all shapes and sizes and is here to stay. Some business owners consider it a cost of doing business, while others are proactive and take steps to prevent it.

Many business owners believe employees are loyal, work hard, and have the benefit of the organization in mind. Although this may be true for the most part, things happen that are outside of our control and sometimes good people make poor decisions.  

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Topics: Fraud

Manufacturers: 8 Steps to Prevent Employee Theft and Fraud

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jul 13, 2017

Internal fraud drains more than $3.7 trillion dollars annually from global businesses, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). For manufacturers and production companies, the median internal fraud loss is $194,000.

Although companies can experience pilferage from customers, vendors and other sources, employees account for the highest losses, when taking into account offenses such as fraudulent insurance claims, unauthorized time off and theft of proprietary information. Crimes can be as simple as stealing company supplies or as complex as sophisticated financial statement fraud.

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Topics: Fraud, Manufacturing

10 Tips to Avoid Identify Theft and Credit Card Fraud During the Holidays

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Dec 6, 2016

Holiday season is prime shopping time, so it makes it the perfect time to consider implementing some best practices to help prevent identity theft and credit card fraud.

Here are my top 10 tips to implement this holiday season to help prevent you from becoming a victim:

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Topics: Fraud

10 Steps Business Owners Can Take to Prevent Fraud

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Aug 9, 2016

Lehigh Valley newspapers recently were once again filled with headlines about million-dollar fraud schemes.

A bookkeeper was accused of stealing more than $1.4 million from an Emmaus civil engineering and landscape architectural firm and a former purchasing director at Utz Quality Food pleaded guilty to a $1.4 million fraud scheme involving vendor kickbacks.

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Topics: Fraud

Business, Not-For-Profit Fraud is a Persistent Problem, New Study Confirms

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, May 19, 2016

For 20 years, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) has been publishing studies every two years to raise awareness of occupational fraud, and the role strong internal controls can play in limiting these schemes. The 2016 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse covers more than 2,400 cases of white collar crime, occurring in more than 100 countries. About 1,000 of these cases involved U.S. organizations.

The findings from the latest report remain consistent from prior years. This goes to show that, despite our best efforts to combat white collar crime, dishonest people continue to find novel ways, often exploiting technology, to steal from businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

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Topics: Fraud

Stop Holiday Fraud – Tips for McDonald’s Owners to Combat Gift Card Theft, Counterfeit Bills

Posted by Concannon Miller on Wed, Nov 18, 2015

The holidays can be a great time of year for McDonald’s owner-operators with gift card sales and more customers stopping in for a bite while on the road.

The downside? It also can be a prime time for fraud, between increased use of counterfeit money and gift card purchases with stolen credit cards.

We work with hundreds of owner-operators, and have seen some effective efforts to combat fraud. As we get into not only the holiday season but the holiday fraud season, we want to share this advice with more owner-operators so you can have hopefully a truly jolly holiday season.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Fraud

Don’t Wait Until You Suspect Employee Theft – Take These Steps to Prevent Fraud

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Nov 5, 2015

You may think your company is free from employee fraud and theft.

Unfortunately, it’s probably not.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that a typical organization loses 5% of revenues each year to fraud.

The AFCE Report to the Nations from 2014 put the median loss due to fraud at $145,000. However, more than 22% of those cases included losses of at least $1 million.

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Topics: Fraud

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