Theft takes many forms. Individuals can steal one another’s heart. They can steal possessions, such as cars. Identity theft is a growing problem. Trivial matters can steal time. Although many individuals don’t regard misusing company assets as theft, it is a form of stealing, that along with employee theft, costs American businesses millions, if not billions, of dollars every year.
There are dozens of ways of misappropriating business funds, from taking company supplies for personal use to falsifying expense reports or hours worked to skimming cash. While these may seem like minor infractions for relatively small amounts, they can add up over time.
Paid tax preparers are an integral part of the U.S. tax system. They do about 60% of all returns each year, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Not all tax professionals are alert to the subtle signs of data theft. The IRS and its Security Summit partners note that there are many cases where tax preparers are victims of theft and don’t even know it.
If your business is anything like ours, it probably gets hundreds of unsolicited emails and calls every week. Whether it’s a seemingly innocuous request for payment information or a blatant attempt to swindle the company, scammers are constantly out to get our (and your) money and private information. Both are desirable to scammers, but information may be even more valuable than cash because they can sell it to numerous other fraudsters.
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