Scam Alert! Part 2 – What to do if an employee has fallen for a scam.

It’s 11am on a Monday morning. The day has been going swimmingly, and you’re feeling like business is going well.

You had your best week of sales all year last week, and your team is working so well autonomously, that you even have time for a coffee down the street and even contemplating a pedicure.

And then you get it…


In sheepishly walks your head accounts manager who has been with you for years. She’s seasoned at what she does and she doesn’t miss a beat. It’s rare for her to come in unannounced like this unless there’s a serious issue.

She sits down and looks seriously uncomfortable. She almost looks like she’s about to cry.

“I messed up…” she confesses, and with shaking hands pushes over your desk a print out of an official-looking email from what looks like at first glance – the ATO.

You start going through the mind of your BAS statements, and last year’s tax return. You thought you’d signed off on them and everything looked hunky-dory.

“I just paid for this. It was for $26,000,” she bristles under her breath.

I thought it was a tax debt. It was actually a scam.

You take a deep breath and do your best to void any emotion from your face so you can keep it together.

And then you think… well – this is a first!

You look at the email she received and acknowledge yourself that if you’d received the same email, you wouldn’t have even looked twice at it being a SCAM.

This scenario outlined above is becoming increasingly more common.

So how do you deal with employees who have fallen victim to a scam? As it is not a misconduct issue, and quite often an honest mistake, here are a few things you can do to tackle this situation.

1.  What solutions can they offer?

Ask them directly how they might remedy the situation. Acknowledge that it’s happened and there is no way in undoing the mistake, however, there may be a few ways to move forward.

What plan of attack do they have to try and recover the money?

2. Check your insurance & bank policy

In some cases, fraud and scams may be covered under your insurance policy, or refunded by your bank. Give them a ring and see if there may be a way to recover the money or report it as a fraudulent transaction.

3. Educate & train staff

Prevention is better than a cure. Educate your staff – particularly those who are dealing with accounts or invoices to know the signs of a scam. There is a range of affordable online courses and training guides that can be used to teach your staff more about this issue. Or you can contact Bespoke HR to facilitate a tailored in-person training day on this topic.

4. Keep staff up to date & action fast.

Make sure your organisation is up to date with the latest scams and cyber threats. If a threat does occur, train staff to be quick to act. Report the scam immediately both internally and externally. Once you’ve reported the scam to the authorities, change your online passwords immediately. Including emails, PIN numbers, and passcodes. Make sure they are all elaborate and hard to guess, in case the cyber scammers try again.


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