The Joy of Forensex – Undressing Fraud

The Joy of Forensex – Undressing Fraud

Quick question: What do Forensic Investigators use as a contraceptive? Their personalities!

I hope that after reading this, you will agree that we do have a sense of humour! Enjoy, and don’t take life too seriously (always).

Have you got a dirty little secret? Well, we have.

They say sex sells, from cars to hamburgers and everything in between.

According to a recent article in Men’s Health, men think about sex an average of 19 times a day. Women think about it 10 times a day.

Now, how many times a day do people think about fraud prevention and organisational risk management?

Well, NOT 10 or 19 times a day, I am sure!

These numbers made the team at JGL think.

We started to wonder if we “sexied up” the language we use in fighting fraud, would more people listen and remember?

Would more suggestive wording grab everyone’s attention?

To borrow the well-known Burlesque tag line, should we do the tease without the sleaze?

So, instead of giving the client the “Implementation of reviewed and approved policies and procedures to lower the enterprise risk,” we offer them “Be safe, the 50 shades of Grey, sexy edition.”

I can already see some readers getting a little uncomfortable, looking for the PG/PG13 rating versus SNL in the top right-hand corner.

Well, brace yourselves, because what follows is a spicy version of fighting fraud. It may not be for the faint-hearted, but our hope is that this approach may help some tips stick.

Who knows – you may even be emboldened to try a few new positions or tricks yourself…

In life, as you grow older, you get exposed to more and more things.

You become aware of the unspoken things.

People stand around and whisper and point.

Are they talking about me? What am I missing? Oh my goodness, is it my clothes? Hair? Deodorant? My phone? WHAT?!!!!!

They whisper the F word in hushed tones and with winking eyes.

They pass around booklets entitled “What you should know about F… (The good booklets even have positional diagrams and pictures…)

Your knees get weak, your head spins – this is quite a hand full.

You swallow hard. Your hands become sweaty. You try to regain your focus and composure and head for the nearest exit.

Please keep on reading – there is a golden honeypot at the end of this rainbow!

A Sordid Affair

No matter how well you try to hide it, F… will always come to light eventually.

The wronged partner always finds out. An overheard conversation, a text message accidentally intercepted, the wrong email recipient, a curious colleague…

In one particular case, it was an opened bank statement.

Ordinarily, the hero wouldn’t have opened the statement himself. But this seductress unexpectedly missed a few days of work, and the hero found himself innocently thumbing through a pile of cancelled cheques from one month’s statement.

His shock was overwhelming. His sense of betrayal complete.

He should have seen this coming. He should have known something was up.

Looking back with the clarity of the evidence now in his sweaty hand, he realised there had been numerous times when things seemed a little off.

But, like any lover unwilling to confront his partner’s infidelity, he chose not to believe what was right there in front of him.

But now, with icy chills running down his spine, and with the unmistakable proof of fraud staring him right in the face, he had no choice but to call his lawyer.

Who swiftly called in a forensic investigator with lead in his pencil.

The investigator performed magnificently under pressure.

He whipped and tortured the evidence and records into submission in the dungeons of his mind, finally revealing the shocking truth.

A tale of lust, deceit, rationalisation and opportunity that ultimately led to hundreds of thousands of dollars in uninsured losses.

The embezzlement was naked and perfect in its simplicity, but everybody looked away, only bringing themselves to speak about the F word in hushed tones.

The seductress had set up willing participants with very similar sounding names to real vendors, and then opened accounts for them.

That was the hard part.

The rest was silky smooth and delicious.

Our Hero signed hundreds of cheques to our Seductress’ minions, thinking they were for legitimate business activities.

The titillating thrill of getting away with it proved addictive, and the seductress became braver and more risqué.

She began forging cheques to pay for personal and intriguing pleasures, like enhancing assets.

(You know what I mean? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more!)

In school an A or B is good, but in real life, a D is MUCH better!

That was soon followed by an unauthorised salary increase – because supporting growing assets and keeping your love-struck minions showered in gifts and love costs money.

It was bold.

It was easily discovered after the fact.

And it should have been prevented.

If you don’t want to be caught up in the same F diaries, it’s time to be proactive. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.

Fraud Prevention 101

Know who you’re getting into bed with

In our story, the hero knew the seductress had previously been suspected of cheating. She left her prior employer under a dark cloud.

But he let himself be seduced by her smooth tongue, silver words of compliments, and the appearance of worldly knowledge.

With the wisdom of hindsight, our hero phoned the previous employer and discovered the seductress probably stole from him to pay off a judgment obtained by the prior employer to recover embezzled funds.

So, what is the moral of this sordid story?

Get a full history on your potential bed partner. What looks attractive and seductive might leave you with more than you bargained for.

R(egret) follows F in the alphabet.

Do a background check.

F…(sters) are often repeat offenders. A simple background check is not expensive, is easy to do and, in this case, would have prevented the inappropriate appointment. It would also have confirmed the ill-at-ease feeling our hero had at the time of hiring.

Look at your own letters

It doesn’t matter how good someone is at what they do, you shouldn’t leave everything to them. Be hands-on in your organisation.  Interact, check, verify and ask questions.  Barge into the bedroom (pun intended) unexpectedly from time to time so that people don’t get too comfortable. Update the F manual regularly, add a few diagrams and pictures as well, to ensure your F manual is relevant and current. A stern look and hushed whispers are no longer effective!

Don’t let one person take control of all your pleasure and pain

Many small business owners are so busy they tend to overlook common sense when assigning work. Ordinarily, you wouldn’t ask your accountant to also answer the phones, open all the post, write cheques, deposit money, prepare invoices, reconcile the bank statements, and prepare the financial reporting.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Don’t accept bad answers to good questions.

In the case of our cuckolded hero, when the forensic investigator arrived on the scene, he asked for a report showing payments to all vendors.

In the past, the Seductress had always argued it was too complicated to put such a report together. She said it would take a long time, and our Hero would be left feeling deflated and disappointed.

The forensic investigator produced it in less than two minutes.

The Hero was shocked – and the hard point was made.

For a long time, his Seductress had been making love with the lights off, preventing him from seeing the very report that exposed the whole scheme.

Take leave, or leave

For over two years, Seductress hadn’t let anyone else see her work in the dungeon. Forcing her to take a holiday would have laid bare all the dodgy dealings much earlier.

Listen to your gut

If your employees are living a life much larger than they should be able to afford, dig deeper.

If your Seductress can’t produce simple reports from the “books,” or if you feel they are the dominant one and not you, there’s a problem.

And if you feel as though your business is doing well, but there’s never any money, find out why.

At the end of the day, you have a responsibility to protect your business’ virtue. You can’t do that if you just sit back and watch – even if that’s what you like. You have to be an active – and willing – participant in your business, exposing anything dodgy happening between the sheets (of the accounting ledger)!

Let’s keep it clean out there!

This is what happens in the world of fraud.

To ensure your continued business health, take ownership of your responsibility. Manage your F risk by doing the right things!

As in sex education, don’t be seduced by your hormones and lust. Keep a level head and do all the checks, so that you don’t get caught with your pants down and regret your actions later!

Thank you for reading to the end.

What did you think?

Can you offer additional – or better – HOT tips in sexy speak? If so, please send us your submission (Maximum three-pages, Arial Font 12, 1.5 spacing) before midnight (CAT) on October 31, 2021.

If yours is the one that gets our hearts racing, makes us loosen our ties, and has us wiping our sweaty palms, we’ll send you a feel-good R5 000 Takealot.com gift voucher to get as naughty with as you like.

And if you live outside South Africa, we’ll give you the local currency equivalent with a popular e-Commerce retailer in your country.

We’ll also share the best submission with our readers (with the full consent of our winning siren, of course).

Please email your submission to Gordon van Wyk: gordonvw@jglgroup.co.za