Red Flag Series (5 of 5) – 4 Reasons Why People Ignore Red Flags

I have a technology dilemma that is going to catch up with me soon if I don’t do something about it. Our family has used PCs with Windows operating systems since we purchased our first home computer. When the iPhone came out, we decided to take a step toward the Apple world. Moving through the years from the iPhone 3 to the iPhone 6S and adding a couple of iPads and an Apple TV along the way, we are now stuck between worlds. This isn’t all bad because the technology works fine together. It just isn’t as seamless as it could be.

However, my dilemma relates to all of our Apple devices and our sharing of iTunes user accounts rather than each user having a separate iTunes account and then using the family sharing feature through iTunes. For some of you, I am speaking Greek, and for others, you probably have tons of ideas on how to help me, and all of you are wondering what this has to do with fraud.

First, I will explain how I got to this point. With our first Apple device, we created an iTunes account, and this worked out fine for my wife and me until we transferred our data to new devices when we upgraded our phones. As we added more devices and family members (my two daughters), I pushed the easy button by using the same iTunes account for all of us. You can see the problem that I created and compounded along my Apple journey. We experienced plenty of headaches over the years, and the size of each issue is growing.

There are numerous reasons why I haven’t done anything, and they are similar to the reasons people either don’t see or ignore the red flags of fraud. The red flags are there and begin to pile up, but owners and executives choose not to address them proactively. The following are four reasons why you may be ignoring the red flags of fraud:

  • Ignorance is bliss” is a good quote to describe my journey into the Apple world and for business owners and executives who ignore red flags. I realized that I had a problem when I transferred data from my wife’s old iPhone to her new one through iTunes. Everything from her phone made it along with all of the data from mine. I didn’t realize the problem I was creating when I first set up our iTunes account until I’d already created it. Then, the issue was just easier to keep ignoring.
  • Lack of knowledge is a common issue business owners and executives face when it comes to spotting fraud. In most cases, fraud schemes are not the most complex, but spotting them can be challenging without a certain level of knowledge and skepticism. This red flags series should take away this excuse. I face the same issue when it comes to my iTunes and Apple device technology issues.
  • Laziness can contribute to people not identifying or ignoring the red flags of fraud. If red flags are identified, someone needs to follow up, which creates more work for someone. If fraud is discovered, there is a lot more work needed to investigate. Not to mention that an employee (or perhaps several employees) probably lost their job over the issue. This means more work for those left at the organization. Just like in my technology dilemma, it is easier for me to be complacent than to be proactive. I know that if and when I try to correct the problem I have ignored for years, my family will experience some disruption to their normal routine, so it seems easier just to avoid the problem all together.
  • Trust – This is probably the biggest reason why owners and executives ignore red flags. They may see the red flags, but they cannot believe there is any possible way that the person they trust could be committing fraud.

If I continue to ignore my technology dilemma, I am certain there will be a catastrophic failure in our house related to an Apple device. On the next rainy Saturday, I need to bite the bullet and get busy correcting my issue. I shouldn’t let these reasons keep me from being proactive. So ask yourself, why do you choose to ignore the red flags of fraud in your organization? Open your eyes before you have a catastrophic failure. 

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Topics: Anti-Fraud

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