Fighting Fraud at Work: 5 Signs It’s Time to Blow The Whistle

by KariLloyd on September 4, 2013

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Just about everyone recognizes and respects the necessity of holding a job in order properly manage bills and remain a productive member of society. There’s obviously no doubt that many individuals dislike aspects of their job, but these are often overlooked when it comes time for a paycheck. Unfortunately, there are sometimes bigger issues going on. When an employee recognizes that fraud is occurring within their company, for instance, the issue can become quite complicated. Because of this, everyone should know when it’s time to “blow the whistle.” What is Blowing the Whistle?
Blowing the whistle implies reporting fraudulent or immoral behaviors that are going on. Many individuals will remember the Edward Snowden situation that recently occurred in America. While many people see him as a traitor, he feels as if he was reporting immoral actions that were going on around him.

Most individuals, however, are more in a position to report these acts within their own company. Any type of fraudulent behavior should be reported immediately, and luckily, American law prevents companies from seeking reprisals against an individual who blows the whistle. In fact, if a person reports the actions to authorities and the government recovers damages, they are usually entitled to up to 30 percent of whatever was recovered due to their actions.

When to Become a Whistleblower
Unfortunately, employees may not know when to report actions that are against the law or company policy. Luckily, there are a few ways an individual can know whether it’s really time to blow the whistle or not.

A) Undeniable Evidence: It’s important to have as much evidence of the immoral or illegal behavior as possible before reporting it. This can include documents, files, videos and anything else that can prove what’s going on. It’s important, however, to not steal this evidence. Making copies of it should suffice, and this will come in handy if there are any denials or reprisals related to the report.

B) Company is being Harmed: If something is going on that’s potentially going to harm the company, an employee has a duty to report it. In fact, if they don’t, they may be considered complicit in the act and held accountable. If, however, the executives at a company are complicit, it’s a good idea to follow the next tip.

C) After Speaking with an Attorney: It’s often a good idea to speak with a false claims attorney before reporting anything. They will be able to verify whether something actually constitutes criminal or immoral activity. On top of this, legal professionals can file false claims suits which will allow the government to recover fraudulently obtained money and reward the whistleblower.

D) Innocent Victims are being Harmed: If innocent individuals, shareholders being an example, are being harmed due to what’s going on in a company, it’s important to report the occurrence. These harms don’t have to be physical, and in fact, they’re usually financial in nature.

E) Crimes against the Government are Occurring: Any type of crime that’s being committed against the government, such as insurance or securities fraud, should be immediately reported. Once again, it’s important to speak with an attorney in this situation since the “higher ups” at a company may be complicit in what’s going on.

It’s an unfortunate truth that many individuals will at some point be in the position of either reporting fraudulent activities or simply ignoring them. Luckily, there are laws that protect whistleblowers from reprisals, and in fact, many whistleblowers have been handsomely rewarded for their honesty. So while there are some inherent risks to doing the right thing, the legal system is meant to protect those who do.

A frequent contributor to law and legal issue websites, Kari Lloyd has been a freelance writer and blogger for nearly 10 years. She used extensively during her research for this article.


Freelance Writer
Kari Lloyd is a freelance writer and blogger who contributes to a wide variety of publications both on and offline.

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