The line between what is moral and what does not tend to blur when money is involved. Corruption runs rampant, but there is hope in the ordinary citizen that watches carefully and abides by a strong moral code. Everyone is capable of stopping injustice in its tracks. Here are ten ways that every citizen can fight corruption while staying safe.
1. Know your Rights
First and foremost, whistleblowers have rights. Utilizing the information found online, you will be able to determine what exactly you are getting yourself into. You will not face legal liability and your employer can not legally retaliate against you. It is extremely important to follow the correct process in order for those rights to be activated.
2. Stay Aware
Awareness is the first step. Pay attention to what is going on around you. If something seems fishy in your workplace, ask a few questions. In fact, ask a few different people the same question. If answers don’t seem to line up, you may be witnessing fraud.
3. Never Turn a Blind Eye
As much as it may seem like the world’s moral compass is circling the drain, anyone that refuses to turn a blind eye is a ray of hope. If you think you are witnessing fraud, the worst thing you can do is turn away. Instead, keep an eye on the situation without drawing attention to yourself.
Listen to workplace chatter. When you ask questions, listen to the answers you are given. You can tell a lot about a company about the way it shares information with its employees. If they’re keeping secrets, the chances are good someone knows something and rumors will start spreading.
5. Keep Records
If you notice something is adrift at your company, start keeping records. There’s no need for private investigation, remember to stay safe during this process, you can just as easily keep a journal of observations over a few months. Make sure to write down dates as well as any details that stand out to you and your interpretation.
6. Follow the Money
Public records are a great tool to figure out where someone’s interest is focused on. Find out how your company is funded and by who. If there is something fishy going on, you can almost always follow the money to strengthen your case. Word to the wise: if you are not authorized to have access to your company’s finances, do not break any rules to get to them. Even without this knowledge, it isn’t your job to prove anything. Your job is to report suspicions and let the government do the rest.
7. Count Inventory
In some companies, inventory going missing may be a sign of fraud. Government-funded schools, for example, get large shipments of textbooks. If something goes missing, make it your job to be aware of it and keep accurate records of inventory.
8. Utilize Technology
Email is a fantastic tool to keep records of interactions between yourself and other members of the company. Try to get as much information in writing as possible. If you are active on social media, friend your coworkers and boss if allowed and take note of any extravagant purchases you know are unusual. This could be an indicator there is a fraud.
9. Obtain Legal Counsel
Once you have suspicions you should always obtain legal counsel. Make sure that you find someone that specializes in whistleblower laws so that you can be sure to follow the correct process if they think you should proceed in getting the government involved with the case.
10.Blow the Whistle
Whistleblowers are incentivized through financial rewards if their claims turn out to be accurate. The government recognizes the stress that can come with being a whistleblower and wants to reward anyone coming forward with information. Once again, it is imperative to follow correct whistleblower procedures for these rights and incentives to be activated.