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Home > Reviews > Business Theft and Fraud

Business Theft and Fraud

Author James Youngblood

ISBN No 9781498742436

Review date 26/06/2019

No of pages 338

Publisher CRC Press

Publisher URL

Year of publication 08/11/2016


Business Theft and Fraud

Our Review


£ 49.99

Business Theft and Fraud: Detection and Prevention, by James Youngblood (published 2016 by CRC Press).

My one quibble with this book is not about the style or contents, but that one reader might not need or want to cover all the ground covered by this book - which goes into internal and external fraud, retail, and cyber. Of course, you might regard that as a strength of the book - that you get so much for your money. Certainly YOungblood - who has a US Army background - looks at fraud by sector besides by type, and begins by considering some questions - such as, are smaller or larger companies more lax about security and more at risk of loss; and who creates the opportunity for a fraud or theft - the employer or the employee ('can be both', the author answers)? He goes on to the 'main components of occupational fraud', such as lack of dual controls, phony invoices, and lacking of background or other checks.

Particularly useful, because the subjects are seldom aired, are the parts on fraud and theft in the franchise industry; and a shorter chapter on loss in retail restaurants. Most works on retail loss prevention stick to shops, whether on physical high streets or e-commerce. While Youngblood suggests that employee theft accounts for slightly more shrinkage than customer shoplifters, when it comes to a franchised retail operation, the 'employees are more likely to steal from their employer through register skimming, sales under-reporting, product theft, and sweet-hearting'.

About a sixth of the book is given over to cyber; particularly here, the author stresses the need to educate employees, so that they know what the threats are, such as ransomware, and what to do if they see them (such as phishing emails). Evidently preventing business theft and fraud is as much about 'keeping malware-spyware off office computers', to quote a chapter title, as it is checking inventory and cashier errors. Hence social media account use by staff while at work - whether acceptable or not to management - will happen, Youngblood argues, and 'employees need to be educated on what to look for if they suspect their accounts have been hacked, counterfeited, or compromised'.

While - like so many books by North American authors - only the US or at most Canada is considered, much of the sense that Youngblood speaks applies to any country's business, such as 'developing intelligence from talking with past offenders', and by appreciating that theft and fraud can happen to any size business, in any circumstances. One intriguing idea is to 'create organisational working groups that meet for the purpose of discussing theft-fraud-related opportunities' - and the members of that group from across departments should be rotated, the author suggests. But let's hope those members, discussing 'if I were a thief', don't get inspired to become thieves!?

Youngblood is also the author of A Comprehensive Look at Fraud Identification and Prevention (also published by CRC Press). He's a long-time member of the ASIS Crime and Loss Prevention Council and is also a member of the ASIS Investigations Council.