A ghost employee is someone being paid on the payroll who doesn’t actually work for the company.
Through false payroll records a fraudster can pay a ghost employee. The ghost employee may be a false person or a real individual who simply doesn’t work for the employer.
The scheme works if:
Companies need to focus on internal controls and process improvement.
Preventing ghosts on your payroll includes:
Remember: The fraudster is only successful if they have unmonitored access.
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Unfortunately, we are seeing more of this type of scam. What it involves is a fraudster providing their bank details to a company when a payment to a supplier/third party is being made.
1. Company A seeks to make a payment to a supplier or a third party in a transaction. The fraudster has hacked the emails and sees that a payment event is due to be made. The fraudster intercepts the e-mail with the correct payment details and changes them so that the payment is made for their benefit.
2. Another case involved a fraudster reviewing a company website and getting the names of individuals in the company. They then write an email (seemingly from the company “boss”) to the finance person in the company to instruct them to make a payment to the fraudster’s bank account.
You may think this will not happen in your organisation and hopefully it will not, but you should be aware that these type of “fake payment” scams are very common at the moment and small and large businesses are being targeted and have lost significant monies.
We would recommend one key control to prevent this type of scam which is to phone the person to whom you believe is to be paid and confirm the bank details by phone.
We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Paul Leonard, Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org