The Million Dollar Question – Employee Theft

Why does employee theft happen? That is the million dollar question that countless management professionals and loss prevention associates have been asking for decades.

Even though during an employee theft investigation we get a chance to interview the dishonest employee, we don’t always get the answers we need. I can say that there is one justification that most dishonest employees give us. They tell us that they stole because they felt like they were owed something.

Sometimes they feel like they were slighted for a promotion. Others feel that the time and effort they put into the job is not adequately compensated. It doesn’t matter why someone always volunteers to work overtime or undesirable shifts initially. If, over time, they do not get the benefit (raise, promotion, recognition, etc.) they expected, they can end up a bitter and resentful employee.

Because that employee now feels like they were taken for granted, or advantage of, now they feel justified in righting that wrong. They often turn toward employee theft to make up for the shortfalls they perceive in their employers.

It is crucial to understand that employee theft would not happen if the employee did not have a way to justify the theft.

It really doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong. The important part is that the employees feels a need to be compensated and therefore takes it upon themselves to do just that.

For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta, Georgia

Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

 

Posted April 10th, 2014 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Birds Of A Feather – Internal Theft

As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. The same thing goes for internal theft. If you have an employee that is stealing they might have an accomplice in the store that is helping them out. If they found a way to steal independently, they may have shared this knowledge with their friends, to share the wealth, if you will.

When internal theft is occurring, the employee in question builds up their safe zone. If they have involved their friends, they can expand the safe zone by eliminating how many other employees they need to watch out for. The friends might be an accomplice to help them past a register, or not questioning a bag going out the door.

This other employee (who begins to steal) will also develop their own safe zone. Now you have two employees causing you losses. You are also at risk that this employee will also bring one of their work friends into the loop, starting the cycle of internal theft over again.

Are you involved with your employees on a personal level at work? If you are not, you might want to reconsider. That does not mean that you need to be going to BBQs at each other’s houses. It just means you should have an awareness of what is going on in their lives. Does anyone have any financial troubles? Who do they hang out with at work? Do they hang out with those same people outside of work?

When you know more about these situations, you can keep a closer eye out for who might be the subject of your next employee theft investigation.

For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

 

Posted April 3rd, 2014 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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A Little Help From My Friends- Employee Theft Investigation

Employee theft is not always about just one employee working alone, as we might be prone to suspecting. All too often we find after we start digging into an employee theft investigation that there are multiple employees that work together to commit their crimes. Sometimes it is even an employee working with a vendor.
It is not uncommon for an employee who is in charge of receiving merchandise deliveries to be approached by the vendor to steal product. A common scheme is for the vendor to work with an employee. When the vendor show up with a merchandise delivery, the employee does not verify that all of the merchandise comes off the truck and enters the store.  That creates an overage on this vendor’s delivery truck, and leaves you with an inventory shortage.
From there, the merchandise is sold through various channels for cash or other goods. The vendor will then give the employee a share of those profits, compensating them for their role in the employee theft.
A variation is that all of the merchandise will actually come off the truck- to appease anyone watching, or any video that might be recording. From there, the employee might stash the merchandise in a trashcan, or in a box and take it outside for the vendor to pick up.
Either way, the employee theft has occurred and it is hard to trace since the invoices have been signed off as a full receipt of product.
For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia
Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

Employee theft is not always about just one employee working alone, as we might be prone to suspecting. All too often we find after we start digging into an employee theft investigation that there are multiple employees that work together to commit their crimes. Sometimes it is even an employee working with a vendor.

It is not uncommon for an employee who is in charge of receiving merchandise deliveries to be approached by the vendor to steal product. A common scheme is for the vendor to work with an employee. When the vendor show up with a merchandise delivery, the employee does not verify that all of the merchandise comes off the truck and enters the store.  That creates an overage on this vendor’s delivery truck, and leaves you with an inventory shortage.

From there, the merchandise is sold through various channels for cash or other goods. The vendor will then give the employee a share of those profits, compensating them for their role in the employee theft.

A variation is that all of the merchandise will actually come off the truck- to appease anyone watching, or any video that might be recording. From there, the employee might stash the merchandise in a trashcan, or in a box and take it outside for the vendor to pick up.

Either way, the employee theft has occurred and it is hard to trace since the invoices have been signed off as a full receipt of product.

For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia
Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

 

Posted March 26th, 2014 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Where Credit is Due- Internal Theft

A customer who purchases an item, loses or throws out their receipt and later needs to return that item are commonly given a store credit/ merchandise credit. Most customers are generally ok with this because they will either be replacing the item they are returning, or will have other shopping they can do at our store. Employees who complete a return without a receipt are given a store credit also. This can lead to a whole new end game for internal theft.
During an internal theft case, an employee will conduct a fraudulent return. They will be issued a store credit because a no receipt return was done. There is no receipt because there was never a sale to begin with (which is why it is a fraudulent return). The employee will then use the credit to purchase more items. 
Frequently they will use their employee discount along with this credit. This can be because they don’t want the cashier to suspect anything when they make their purchase so they use their discount. It can also be out of greed. If they got the store credit for free, why not make it go even further by using the employee discount to get more merchandise even cheaper.
That is were the paper trail of the employee theft investigation begins. We track employee purchases and can also track a merchandise credit’s history. When we see an employee with the credit but no corresponding purchase history, we know something is not right. 
For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia
Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

A customer who purchases an item, loses or throws out their receipt and later needs to return that item are commonly given a store credit/ merchandise credit. Most customers are generally ok with this because they will either be replacing the item they are returning, or will have other shopping they can do at our store. Employees who complete a return without a receipt are given a store credit also. This can lead to a whole new end game for internal theft.

During an internal theft case, an employee will conduct a fraudulent return. They will be issued a store credit because a no receipt return was done. There is no receipt because there was never a sale to begin with (which is why it is a fraudulent return). The employee will then use the credit to purchase more items. 

Frequently they will use their employee discount along with this credit. This can be because they don’t want the cashier to suspect anything when they make their purchase so they use their discount. It can also be out of greed. If they got the store credit for free, why not make it go even further by using the employee discount to get more merchandise even cheaper.

That is were the paper trail of the employee theft investigation begins. We track employee purchases and can also track a merchandise credit’s history. When we see an employee with the credit but no corresponding purchase history, we know something is not right. 

For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia
Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

 

Posted March 18th, 2014 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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The Master Pack – Internal Theft

During the summer months we sell a lot of chairs. Most of them are our patio and outdoor chairs. It is a great selling item to increase our daily ticket average. The downside is that these chairs come in bundled together, which makes it easy to sell improperly, and for internal theft to occur.

In fact, we just had a case of internal theft where the employee was ringing up only one chair, but a stack of four chairs were going out the door. They had figured that we would not notice what was going on because he was ringing something up on the register.

He also figured that if we did notice a shortage of chairs, he could say that he didn’t know and it was a mistake. To a certain extent, that was true. When we did notice the shortage, we first thought it was an operational error. Perhaps if we had trained the employee how to properly sell those chairs, we would have prevented that shortage.

As we continued researching the chair shortages (because there was more than one) we realized that this employee was actually letting more merchandise go out the door unpaid. The same “customer” came back for four more chairs, and some dishes, and some napkins, and some candles, all going out the door for the price of one chair.

We knew then that we needed to conduct a full employee theft investigation to resolve this employee theft case.

For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

 

Posted March 9th, 2014 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Up in Smoke – Employee Theft Investigation

I recently concluded an employee theft investigation in one of my general merchandise stores. The last time I was in this store, I had noticed a customer who had been in and out of the store several times during the day.  At first, I thought he might have been a shoplifter because I never saw him buy anything.

I then thought differently as this man was awfully friendly with my store employees. I then began to suspect that there might be some employee theft going on. I started to review my recorded video of the cash registers for the last few days.

Over and over again I saw the man coming up to the register. He would speak with the employees, who would give him a few loose cigarettes out of a pack that was mostly hidden by the registers. Sometimes the man would hand over cash or sometimes it was something in a bag that I could not identify.

I then suspected that this was employee theft of our cigarettes.  I went out and did a physical count of the cigarettes in question and compared it to what our inventory should have been. We were several cartons short.

As it turned out, the employees were selling loose cigarettes to this man, who in turn, would sell the cigarettes (and other store merchandise) in the parking lot – splitting the cash with the employees. The cigarettes were, of course, stolen from our inventory.

For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

 

Posted March 1st, 2014 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Broken Trust, Broken Policies- Internal Theft

When an employee has their personal possessions taken, it is more than just that possession that is taken. An employee takes the losses personally. They feel victimized and they feel let down and betrayed. Internal theft is not just about stealing the company’s assets, but also any theft occurring inside your place of business.
An employee comes to work with an overall assumption that when they leave their belongings (coats, purses, cell phones) in a designated employee area, their belongings are protected and safe.
When something is stolen, they no longer feel that they are safe and that their employers are to blame for not maintaining that safety. The employees then take it upon themselves to protect their things.
This leads to broken trust and broken policies. Since the employee no longer trusts you, they will begin to stash their bags behind the POS where they can keep an eye on it, or take their cell phone on the floor.
Now you are faced with the internal theft, broken policies, and you are a short leap away from other employees seeing what is going on and they too will begin to make up their own rules of governance.
When you start to lose these controls, you open your doors even wider to other losses. You lose any camaraderie or employee good will as everyone is now deemed a suspect. You loose your control over the situation as it is now viewed as every man for himself, and you open yourself up to further theft. 
If you cannot resolve the current employee theft investigation, it could be viewed as a lack of overall security, making you merchandise and cash free game.
For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia
Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

When an employee has their personal possessions taken, it is more than just that possession that is taken. An employee takes the losses personally. They feel victimized and they feel let down and betrayed. Internal theft is not just about stealing the company’s assets, but also any theft occurring inside your place of business.

An employee comes to work with an overall assumption that when they leave their belongings (coats, purses, cell phones) in a designated employee area, their belongings are protected and safe.

When something is stolen, they no longer feel that they are safe and that their employers are to blame for not maintaining that safety. The employees then take it upon themselves to protect their things.

This leads to broken trust and broken policies. Since the employee no longer trusts you, they will begin to stash their bags behind the POS where they can keep an eye on it, or take their cell phone on the floor.
Now you are faced with the internal theft, broken policies, and you are a short leap away from other employees seeing what is going on and they too will begin to make up their own rules of governance.

When you start to lose these controls, you open your doors even wider to other losses. You lose any camaraderie or employee good will as everyone is now deemed a suspect. You loose your control over the situation as it is now viewed as every man for himself, and you open yourself up to further theft. 

If you cannot resolve the current employee theft investigation, it could be viewed as a lack of overall security, making you merchandise and cash free game.

For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

 

Posted February 28th, 2014 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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How to Kite a Check- Internal Theft

When an employee needs to supplement their income between paychecks years ago, they would often float or kite a check. They didn’t really think of it as a form of internal theft because these employees viewed it as a loan of sorts. 
Here’s how it worked.
An employee would write a check and get cash. They would not have enough money in their bank account to cover the dollar amount of the check. So the cash they got from the check would get deposited into their account. 
Deposits would post faster than it would take the check to clear, however, they still needed to cover the bad check they had written. 
They would write a second check and get cash. Then they would deposit that cash into their accounts. This cash would be enough to cover the first check, but not the second. So they would have to do it again, and again…
This would be a way to supplement their account in between paychecks. Once they had their paycheck deposited, the paycheck would cover the bad checks that had been written.
It is rare that we see employee theft investigations for bad checks these days. 
What we do see is the same process with deposits. Cash is taken out of a deposit and cash from the next day’s deposit covers it up. They will take the money out of each deposit until they can make up the difference with their paychecks.
Generally we figure out the internal theft because something happens to break the cycle. If an employee falls ill or quits, the money to cover the previous day’s loan is not there and the money shows up missing.
For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia
Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

When an employee needs to supplement their income between paychecks years ago, they would often float or kite a check. They didn’t really think of it as a form of internal theft because these employees viewed it as a loan of sorts. 

Here’s how it worked.

An employee would write a check and get cash. They would not have enough money in their bank account to cover the dollar amount of the check. So the cash they got from the check would get deposited into their account. 

Deposits would post faster than it would take the check to clear, however, they still needed to cover the bad check they had written. 
They would write a second check and get cash. Then they would deposit that cash into their accounts. This cash would be enough to cover the first check, but not the second. So they would have to do it again, and again…

This would be a way to supplement their account in between paychecks. Once they had their paycheck deposited, the paycheck would cover the bad checks that had been written.

It is rare that we see employee theft investigations for bad checks these days. 

What we do see is the same process with deposits. Cash is taken out of a deposit and cash from the next day’s deposit covers it up. They will take the money out of each deposit until they can make up the difference with their paychecks.

Generally we figure out the internal theft because something happens to break the cycle. If an employee falls ill or quits, the money to cover the previous day’s loan is not there and the money shows up missing.

For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.

 

Posted February 20th, 2014 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Maintain Their Life Style- Internal Theft

Stealing fragrance and cosmetic items is a way to maintain, or enhance, a life style while decreasing out of pocket expenses. It was not uncommon for me to resolve internal theft where employees sought out employment at stores that carried their preferred brand of cosmetics just so they would have unending access to them.
Since one of the more common theft items for many retailers is fragrance and cosmetics, it is important to be diligent in protecting that inventory. Additionally, the internal theft of these items that can create a bigger financial loss than through shoplifters.
Let’s take a look at why these items are taken. We can begin with the price- for most major fragrance labels, even a small one-ounce bottle can fetch close to fifty dollars. Even though cosmetics can be a low price point, ask any woman how many different products they use. 
It can be an overwhelming amount of different items of makeup, each with a five to ten dollar price- for the moderate drugstore brands. Higher end products can increase in price exponentially depending on the designer and type of product.
Beyond the initial price, these are consumable items. They need to be replenished with regularity ranging from once a month to once every four to six months. If you have employees that regularly wear or use these beauty items, they can potentially incur hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of product in a year’s time.
For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia
Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation.
 

Stealing fragrance and cosmetic items is a way to maintain, or enhance, a life style while decreasing out of pocket expenses. It was not uncommon for me to resolve internal theft where employees sought out employment at stores that carried their preferred brand of cosmetics just so they would have unending access to them.

Since one of the more common theft items for many retailers is fragrance and cosmetics, it is important to be diligent in protecting that inventory. Additionally, the internal theft of these items that can create a bigger financial loss than through shoplifters.

Let’s take a look at why these items are taken. We can begin with the price- for most major fragrance labels, even a small one-ounce bottle can fetch close to fifty dollars. Even though cosmetics can be a low price point, ask any woman how many different products they use. 

It can be an overwhelming amount of different items of makeup, each with a five to ten dollar price- for the moderate drugstore brands. Higher end products can increase in price exponentially depending on the designer and type of product.

Beyond the initial price, these are consumable items. They need to be replenished with regularity ranging from once a month to once every four to six months. If you have employees that regularly wear or use these beauty items, they can potentially incur hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of product in a year’s time.

For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase CCTV Systems that can help you stop Employee Theft and Internal Theft problems and help with your Employee Theft Investigation

 

Posted February 14th, 2014 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Stop Profit loss – Stop Employee Theft

Unfortunately employee theft (also known as internal theft) is a reality when operating a business of any size.  More than half of all retail industry shortage is a result of employee theft.  Every business owner needs to be aware of this and take the appropriate actions to confront this reality. 

Employee theft frequently manifests through internal collusion or assisting the theft by an external party.  Most often though internal theft is the primary form of employee theft that impacts businesses.

Internal theft happens in a variety of different ways.  Most retail businesses have cashiers and, of course, these cashiers have access to many assets.  Retail cashiers have access to the register funds.  This access and the level of direct supervision frequently create an environment that is conducive for internal theft. 

It is critical to remember that each employee is a potential avenue to loss.  Every employee in an organization has access to assets.  This means that not only the business’s cashiers present the possibility for loss.   The stock workers have access to your inventory, the facilities’ staff often work unsupervised and after hours, and the management staff has direct access to the safe and reserve funds

If employee theft is suspected, the next step should be to initiate employee theft investigations.  As soon as an owner or manager notices that loss has occurred, the employee theft investigation is indicated – it should also become a routine measure to uncover loss yet unnoticed and to serve as warning as well.  

The goal of employee theft investigations should be to uncover and address internal theft issues.  An employee theft investigation utilizes loss prevention personnel, interviewers, CCTV systems, personnel surveillance, and controlled auditing. 

The goal should be not only removing the guilty party, but also identifying any control or supervision issues.  An employee theft investigation also can support the course of correction that might be indicated.

For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation and internal theft please contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia.

 

Posted February 3rd, 2014 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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