Business Ledger webinar highlights uptick in fraud

Dave Friedman has seen his share of fraud.

For instance, there was the time a "very nice, high-end bar" opened, but it wasn't making as much money as expected.

"The owners knew me. None of the staff knew me," Friedman said. "So I stood at the bar for a week and watched the bartenders scam drinks. When someone bought four drinks, they didn't charge them for the fifth and they took money out. ... The one guy who kept his job through all this was the new guy who thought he was doing the right thing because he watched what everyone else did."

Friedman's presentation on fraud was a Daily Herald Business Ledger webinar sponsored by Wipfli LLC, where Friedman is a partner.

Fraud has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, Friedman said. Cyberfraud is predicted to grow by 91%, fraud by vendors and sellers by 86% and payment fraud by 85% by May 2021.

Private companies are the victims of fraud about 40% of the time, versus 30% of the time for public companies. Government is a victim of fraud 15% of the time.

Common internet schemes also are flourishing this year.

"They're all on the rise. We all have to be careful," Friedman said. "The old tricks of watching for bad language, watching for bad punctuation, doesn't work as much anymore because they're all getting better."

Even nonprofits have been the victims of fraud, causing great embarrassment, he said.

"You need to have a good system of internal controls, and to properly execute them, for a fraud to be detected quickly," Friedman said.

The pandemic has forced Daily Herald Business Ledger events to move online, but they are continuing.

The next event is 9 a.m. Nov. 10 on Zoom, a panel discussion called "Becoming a Best Places to Work Company." The Influential Women in Business event will be livestreamed on the Business Ledger's Facebook page at 4 p.m. Nov. 12.

A screen grab from the Daily Herald Business Ledger webinar by Dave Friedman of Wipfli LLC.
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