Cash incentive for dobbing in workmates

ROB STOCK
Last updated 15:36 24/06/2012

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Private investigations company Thompson and Toresen has begun offering rewards of up to $1000 to workers prepared to dob in thieving colleagues.

The company, which recently busted an operation ripping off thousands of bottles of Coca-Cola from an Auckland supply depot, is seeking tipoffs on an 0800 number (0800 RIPOFF) and also on a Facebook page (facebook.com/ 0800ripoff).

Although the company has taken tips from the public for more than 15 years, this is the first time that it has openly offered the rewards, said investigator Danny Toresen.

The Facebook page bears an image of 1930s crimefighter the Phantom, alluding to the anonymity Thompson and Toresen say they guarantee whistleblowers - the tipster remains a phantom.

But rewards will be available only if an alleged offender is arrested and charged. That will require the company in question to investigate, and ultimately the aim of the tipoff line is to generate business for Thompson and Toresen.

Toresen says that although clients always pay for the investigations, not all cases lead to charges being laid. Often the businesses involved decide to hush things up and simply use the crimes as leverage to eject corrupt employees. All tipoffs will be reported to the companies involved, though the police will not necessarily be informed.

Those calling up will be given a unique code. All they have to do is wait for charges to be laid and they can then call back to collect any reward due to them.

New Zealand businesses have been waking up to the levels of fraud being perpetrated by workers on their employers, and a recent survey by accountants KPMG suggested the cost to the economy could even involve as much as $1 billion a year.

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- Sunday Star Times

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