Personal Due Diligence In Everyday Transactions
In the business world, due diligence refers to the investigation and steps were taken by organisations to satisfy all legal requirements before buying or selling products/ services or entering into a contract or a financial arrangement with another party. An Integrity Due Diligence allows an organisation to reduce risks – including risks arising from the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and the UKBA (U.K. Bribery Act), to make informed decisions and pursue takeovers or mergers with more confidence. Due diligence is vital to prevent many types of fraud. While in some cases, it is also up to the consumer to do their own personal due diligence. Due diligence sounds complicated, but it is merely the process of doing your homework before you make a significant commitment.
Most of us practice personal due diligence even though we may not think of it that way (i.e. research on the internet before making a purchase or deciding what restaurant to go to). In this process, we are doing our “due diligence” to get the best deal. The level of proper due diligence should be proportionate to the level of commitment involved and your specific status. So when buying a house, the due diligence ought to be more extensive (i.e. a family with children may want to check out the rating of the schools in the area). Another personal area to conduct due diligence involves a new job offer (i.e., the organisation known to treat its employees well). These areas involve a significant amount of due diligence on your part before accepting a new position at a new company.
Due Diligence Makes Trust Possible
In the U.K., the lack of clarity from the Government has already caused problems. Many landlords are averse to letting their properties to non-UK nationals if they are in breach of the Right to Rent rules post-Brexit. The Government is under increased pressure to give clear guidance on post-Brexit Right to Work and Right to Rent checks. Whether you are renting a property, having home renovations done, buying insurance, getting a mortgage, or even entering a new romantic relationship, you can use due diligence to protect yourself. Due diligence can prevent potential fraud and some other types of scams.
The following are tips on how to avoid fraud:
- Know who you are dealing with, ask questions and verify the information;
- Check with the governing body for licensing and insurance requirements;
- Scammers pressure you to act immediately. Don’t sign anything you don’t understand;
- Don’t sign anything for large amounts of money without having it reviewed by your lawyer;
- Scammers say there’s a problem or a prize. Do not give out your personal information without verifying who is getting it;
- Be cautious if you are asked to make up-front payments;
- Get company information, including name and address and ensure that a written contract backs all verbal promises;
- Have a contract in place for things like construction work;
- Never give an unsolicited caller access to your computer;
- Do not give out a credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the number you are calling came from a trusted source;
- Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way. Never wire money unless you’re absolutely confident that you’re sending it to someone you know;
- Be suspicious of any calls from supposedly distressed relatives who don’t give their names. After hanging up, try calling the family member with the phone numbers you have to see if they actually need help;
- Scammers pretend to be from an organisation you know. Be suspicious of any calls from a supposed government agency or other businesses demanding payments; and
- Landlords should check references (in some cases, a police criminal record check), credit reports, and employment information of potential tenants.
Online Fraud is on the rise
In a time of crisis, we often see the best in people. Even before COVID-19 was officially classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a global pandemic, citizens and government leaders alike praised the selfless sacrifice of doctors, nurses, first responders and others putting themselves in harm’s way to help treat and limit the spread of the disease. Unfortunately, a crisis can also bring out the worst in some people; fraudsters prey on fear and confusion.
The research shows that online fraud is on the increase too. Fraudsters are using the surge in online activity to target unsuspecting consumers. Online retailer sectors saw rising transaction volumes in March 2020 compared to the previous year, with 97% in Home products and furnishings, 136% in DIY products, 163% in garden essentials, and 26.6% in electronics.
Online Due Diligence Tips:
- Change online passwords regularly and make them secure (don’t use standard information about yourself);
- Don’t post personal info such as date of birth or mailing address on social media sites;
- Have the most current firewall and anti-virus software on your computer;
- Don’t send financial or any other type of personal information by email or text;
- When purchasing online, make sure the site is secure. It should begin with HTTPS;
- Don’t open links that appear in an email asking you to start a financial transaction. Go directly to the organisation’s website;
- Don’t download software programs or apps from an unsecured source; and
- Don’t use unsecured WiFi (such as in a coffee shop) if the device you are using has personal information on it.
Don’t fall prey to unscrupulous business dealings and outside threats. At CRI Group, we specialise in Integrity Due Diligence, working as trusted partners to businesses and institutions worldwide. Our people work with energy, insight and care to ensure we provide a positive experience to everyone involved – clients, reference providers and candidates.
Our DueDiligence360™ expose vulnerabilities and threats that can cause serious damage to your organisation and can significantly reduce business. The world’s largest corporations trust CRI Group and consultancies – outsource your due diligence to an experienced provider, and you will only ever have to look forward, never back.
Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business Intelligence, Due Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.
In 2016, CRI Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301:2021 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.
Ethics and Compliance Hotline is an anonymous reporting mechanism that facilitates reporting of possible illegal, unethical, or improper conduct when the normal channels of communication have proven ineffective or are impractical under the circumstances. At CRI Group, we are committed to having an open dialogue on ethical dilemmas regardless. We want to introduce a new Ethics & Compliance Hotline. This hotline is available to all employees and clients, contractors, vendors, and others in a business relationship with CRI Group and ABAC Group.
If you find yourself in an ethical dilemma or suspect inappropriate or illegal conduct, and you feel uncomfortable reporting through normal channels of communication, or wish to raise the issue anonymously, use CRI Group’s Compliance Hotline in below mentioned ways or provide us with your complaint online on the form below. The Compliance Hotline is a secure and confidential reporting channel managed by an independent provider. When reporting a concern in good faith, you will be protected by CRI Group’s Non-Retaliation Policy.
What Can You Report?
Feel free to report any known or suspected noncompliant behaviour or violations with any regulatory mandates and/or local policies, including but not limited to:
Ethical standards Violations
Violation of laws and Company Policy and internal control
Risk and Safety
Theft, embezzlement or misappropriate of assets and fraud
Bribery and corruption
Employee Rights, Employee Relation, Work Environment
Privacy laws or security of personal information
The dispute related to Supervisor, H.R. and other Departments
Physical and Verbal Harassment on Workplace
Issues related to job responsibilities
The report related to a suspicious activity being a witness
Our Compliance Hotline is accessible by both phone and online. If you make a report directly by telephone, you will speak with the Compliance Department directly. If you submit a report online, the system will guide you through the reporting process, and a PIN generated automatically once you complete the report.