Approximately one-third of global businesses are currently not monitoring employee fraud, leaving themselves vulnerable to an array of emerging deceitful tactics.

This alarming statistic came to light through a recent poll conducted during a webinar titled “Fraud and the New World of Work: How to Reduce Risk,” organised by employment screening and identity expert, Sterling.

The poll revealed that 29 percent of employers worldwide lack a comprehensive system to track fraud in the workplace, a situation that Sterling contends is becoming increasingly critical in the face of evolving fraudulent schemes on both global and regional scales.

Sterling emphasised the surge in new forms of fraud that employers are grappling with as remote working, digital transformation, and the gig economy continue to gain momentum.

These encompass identity fraud and regional-specific challenges like moonlighting, which is notably affecting the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Moreover, Sterling underscored the rapid evolution of the screening landscape itself. While digital transformation introduces potential risks, it also presents an opportunity for firms to enhance their screening and vetting processes.

Fraud is becoming even more sophisticated

Steve Smith, President International at Sterling, emphasised the need for companies to monitor potential worker fraud, not only to safeguard their business but also to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable individuals:

“The fraud that businesses are exposed to today is not only far more sophisticated but also takes on many more forms than most firms are perhaps even aware of. Digital transformation has made it easier for identity fraud and theft to impact recruitment processes. This not only poses a risk to the safety of the workforce, clients, and data but also threatens those at risk of exploitation. However, there is now an opportunity to streamline and improve screening and vetting processes using innovative new tools, not only to reduce the threat of employee fraud but also to enhance the candidate experience.

“With remote hiring and the growth of gig workers, there are people being employed to deliver work without the need for in-person verification. If the identity of the individual performing the work cannot be fully confirmed, and if it’s uncertain whether the person being paid is the same one working, there’s a significant potential for exploitation. Modern slavery is a very real issue today, and employers may be unaware that it’s a problem in their gig or temporary workforces.

“The increase in moonlighting is also a genuine concern. Remote staff may have more than one job, and if these additional jobs are not disclosed, it could impact business productivity. We’re witnessing a growing number of firms opting to rescreen their staff to root out signs of fraud that may have emerged since employment contracts were signed. However, the fact that almost a third of firms aren’t monitoring employee fraud at all is a cause for concern. Employers must stay vigilant on this issue or risk damage to their reputation, staff productivity, or more alarmingly, data theft or criminal activities associated with their business.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.