Employee Reports Fake Accounts – No One Listens

Have you heard the phrase, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it actually make a sound ?”   It’s a mind bender but it makes you stop and think – was a sound made?

I would change that phrase just a little bit and say, “If an employee reports internal fraud but no one listens – did the fraud actually happen ?”  By burying their heads in the sand, can a company pretend that fraud doesn’t exist?

Last year, Wells Fargo ignored many pleas by employees about a Fake Account Scandal.  They knew for years about rampant internal fraud but chose time and time again to ignore it.  In the end, they paid dearly for ignoring those employees and whistleblowers.

This Employee of AT&T is Yelling But No One Is Hearing His Sound

I read something this week that made me think of that phrase. This employee from AT&T  has been trying to report fraud and no one, not even his managers are listening to him.

You can read the post on Reddit – here.

Basically, this is a case where a bad employee is setting up shell accounts or taking over dormant accounts to steal Iphone’s right out from under his employer – AT&T.

Why Should AT&T Care?

There are 2 reasons AT&T should probably care about this.

First – Those fake accounts that the employee setup fraudulently will all default.  They are shell accounts and will end up in an Early Payment Default for AT&T.  AT&T will wonder why the hell those accounts never paid.  But this employee tried to tell them!

Second – AT&T is in danger of ignoring a whistleblower.  The employee is clearly sending out alerts to his managers that someone is setting up fake accounts to steal from the company.  The employee may be using dormant accounts that belong to real people.  Those consumers are victims of fraud.

Is Internal Fraud An Issue Here in the US?

Yes. Internal Fraud is a large issue that impacts all companies causing billions in losses.  I don’t understand why more companies don’t take it seriously.

Here is a helpful infographic I came up with to point out all of the issues.

What Should the Employee Do?

It’s a shame no one is listening to this employee.  If you find a fraud like this at your company.

  1.  Call Tip Line – Call the anonymous Hotline to report fraud. Most companies have set up these lines to protect employees anonymity when they find these things.
  2. Call Loss Prevention or Fraud Investigations–  Call the loss prevention department.  No one else might believe you, but they will.
  3. Write Memo or Letter to the CEO –  If no one listens to you, bring it to the highest levels and you will get some attention.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Frank McKenna is the Chief Fraud Strategist for PointPredictive and a Fraud Consultant based in San Diego California