How effectively you handle a report to your company’s fraud hotline can seriously affect how your employees perceive your company’s efforts to combat fraud. Here are some dos and don’ts to consider.
- Don’t involve parties potentially associated with the fraudulent behavior in the investigative process. Many times, internal investigations involve management of the affected department in the investigative process. Before doing so, consider if there’s even the possibility that management may be involved in or have knowledge of the alleged activities. It may be best to interview department management but otherwise not involve them.
- Do consider all potential sources of relevant information. Internal investigations routinely access the suspected employees’ HR personnel files, but don’t forget about informal department personnel files maintained by department management. Email and company-owned cell phones also may need to be considered for text or email communications.
- Do interview parties who may have relevant information. Employers often are concerned about the distribution of knowledge concerning a fraud hotline report. While conducting interviews of every employee in the target department is seldom necessary, it pays to do your homework and determine if any specific individuals should be interviewed. Try to interview these individuals outside of their department environment and let them know your inquiries are confidential.
- Don’t rush to interview the alleged perpetrator right away. Normally, you should have reviewed all relevant information and documentation and interviewed any other relevant parties prior to approaching the alleged perpetrator. This allows you to more easily recognize inconsistencies in any explanations given.
- Don’t rush to judgment. You need an appropriate amount of time to consider all the gathered documentation and information before you form your opinions.
- Do consider communicating your findings if appropriate. If you can give the department a summary of the findings of your investigation without violating any confidentialities, do so. You don’t need to go into specifics, but you can give them assurance the issue was appropriately looked into by generally outlining your investigative process.