As I have written before, most work place fraud is not committed by people who took their job with any intention of ever committing fraud. Fraud is a crime of opportunity. Rats are animals of opportunity.
- Rats did not set out to invade my garage, they stumbled across the safety and food opportunities of my garage while exploring for a place to live.
- Fraudsters do not set out to commit fraud, rather they stumble across a weakness in a company’s internal controls, and decide to take advantage of it.
- Rats find the dark corridors of your home where they feel safe and out of view to do their dirty work.
- Fraudsters find the dark corridors of your business system where they feel like they can get away with their dirty work without anyone noticing.
- Setting traps in their path does not necessarily catch the rats, because they sense there is something in their path that was not there before, and learn to avoid this new trap, or just leave.
- Setting new internal controls does not necessarily catch a fraudster, but because they will often notice the new control, they will most likely just stop committing fraud.
I never caught the rats in my garage. The only way I got rid of them was to take everything out of my garage, clean it, and put everything back. The rats sensed everything was now different, and they simply left. As I pulled items out of my garage, I thought I had been well organized, but I noticed the areas behind boxes, and the corners where I had not previously noticed small bits of clutter. It occurred to me this was like so many offices I have seen, where the files look nice and organized, but behind the pretty front are unorganized files and weak internal controls, which provides opportunity for a potential fraudster to take advantage of an unorganized business.