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IRS Pays $5.8 Billion in Fraudulent Refunds

In a recent report released by the GAO the IRS estimates in 2014 it paid $5.8 billion dollars in identity theft refund fraud. The IRS recommends several steps we can take as individuals to protect our personal information. But what can we do as business owners and administrators to prevent fraud and protect the personally identifiable information of our clients, customers and employees? Here are a few steps…

  1. Require Background Checks on All Employees – running a comprehensive background check on your employees is an inexpensive tool that is useful in protecting both the tangible and intangible commodities in your workplace environment. It can uncover individual patterns and direct threats to your organization.
  2. Limit Access to Key Data – duties and responsibilities should be segregated amongst the team. Only individuals that need to use sensitive information in their daily routines should have access to that data.
  3. Understand and Monitor Network Security – many organizations and small businesses forgo taking this step in protecting their computer systems by monitoring their firewalls, antivirus software and system updates.
  4. Implement a Whistleblower Policy & Hotline- employees who may be aware of illegal or fraudulent activity must have an outlet available to report this activity in which they feel their confidentiality will not be violated and they will not be retaliated against.
  5. Be Observant – as simple as this may seem, don’t be afraid to ask questions! If something seems wrong, it may very well be.

Written by Anthony Ocasio