Business crime advice
Advice for professionals, businesses and how to report your concerns.
On this page:
Organised criminal groups operate in Scotland. They make money through illegal activity and use innocent people to help them.
Financial crime is one of the fastest growing crimes these groups are working in.
To defraud organisations, they target people holding key positions within organisations. They are targeted by criminal networks to help them in their work.
Here are some tips for professionals to look out for:
- Customers who only want to do business over the phone or internet. All customer validation checks should be carried out, not just an identity check. Do a background check
- Scrutinise sources of deposits to confirm validity. Do this with the use of receipts or bank statements
- Be wary of similar multiple transactions
- If an intermediary is being used always confirm their reputation and legitimacy
- Look out for organised crime indicators. These will include cash rich companies and money from invisible services.
Keep up-to-date with current legislation about money laundering and how to deal with it.
If you are in doubt about a client, their business, their funds or legitimacy of a transaction then submit a SAR. This allows the Law Enforcement Agency to look at the information and make an informed decision.
If a crime has occurred, you must inform the Police.
If you don't report suspicious activity there could be severe penalties. These include:
- Conviction of fraud or money laundering
- Assets frozen
- Ruined reputation and expulsion from professional body - this will make finding employment in the future more difficult
- The Criminal Justice & Licensing (Scotland) Bill has penalties including prosecution and a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
Businesses/employers can take some simple steps to assist with preventing fraud. This is often committed with colluding staff. These include:
- Know your staff - check CVs and take up references
- The more sensitive their position the more detailed the search should be
- When staff move, change computers, passwords and building access levels
- Have control over access to computers, documents and equipment to stop unauthorised use
- Train staff in security systems, disciplinary policies and procedures.
- Encourage line managers to enforce this training
- Encourage whistle blowing in your organisation
- Carry out random spot checks
- Take a hard line on culprits
- Have a clear message that any colluding staff will be reported to any professional body and Police
- Limit use of USB drives and external storage items
- Consider ban on mobiles at workstations (have been used for photographing computer screens)
- Divide duties between staff - this means irregularities will be spotted.
- Introduce monitoring controls
- Encourage staff to study every transaction carefully - look out for inconsistencies and use their judgement
- Have a procedure if suspicious activity is found
- Allow managers to act quickly if crimes are in action.
Should you have concerns that an employee or colleague is involved in serious organised crime you should report it to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or to your local police office by phoning 101.