The CEO of International Private Investigation Services, LLC (IPIS) would like to convey 15 due diligence tips to avoid potential business vendor fraud:

1. Make sure the company has a good separation of duty policies for each department.

2. In the procurement department make sure a good approval process is in place and adhered to.

3. Conduct surprise audits of the procedures.

4. When purchasing, make sure to buy the merchandise or supplies from a known vendor in your local community who has a track record.

5. It’s always good to check your current vendors’ list for vendors’ who do not disclose a taxpayer identification number (ID) or indicates an invalid one. A federal tax identification number or EIN number has nine digits with the first two digits separated by a hyphen.

6. If merchant is unknown, check the state and county business registry office (Usually it’s the Secretary of State where the company is incorporated) and find out if the corporation in good standing.

7. See who the corporate principals or registered agents are, and their address.

8. Get from the vendor their actual street address, not just a post office box (P.O. Box).

9. Compare the information from the vendor with the Secretary of State information.

10. Compare the address to your company employees addresses; make sure there not the same.

11. Conduct a computerize background check utilizing the business name and address. If possible, drive by the location and compare the listed phone number, email, and website information you have to what you see at the business location.

12. Look at the vender’s website, see if their hypertext transfer protocol is secure (https), If you see https, it’s most likely secure and encrypted. If it’s http without the “s” it’s not secured or encrypted.

13. Send an e-mail the vender to ensure that the e-mail address is active.

14. If vendor won’t provide the basic information, like email, website, and street addresses consider not purchasing from them.

15. Try to purchase merchandise or supplies directly from the individual and company that have or owns the trademark, copyright, or patent.

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