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Fraudulent Activity

Occupational fraud is defined as: “The use of one’s occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of the employing organization’s resources or assets.”  In general terms a fraud takes place when someone intentionally creates a deception in order to obtain money or some other benefit causing a loss to the institution.


Identifying Fraud

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the most common source of fraud detection is tips.

Vanderbilt University’s Guidelines for Investigating Suspected Financial Fraud provides examples of fraudulent acts. These include but are not limited to:

• Forgery or alteration of a check, bank draft, or any other financial document

• Misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies, services, or other assets

• Impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions

• Accepting or seeking anything of material value from contractors, vendors, or persons providing goods or services to the University

• Destruction, removal, or inappropriate use of records, furniture, fixtures, equipment or supplies

• Providing false information on a job application

• Falsifying payroll records or time sheets

• Conducting work on an outside business on University time


  Chart of Fraud type by Perpetrator


Reporting Suspected Fraud at Vanderbilt University

If you see or suspect unethical or illegal behavior, you may report your concerns anonymously by contacting EthicsPoint at 1-844-814-5935. This toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also report your concerns online by accessing the following webpage:

Vanderbilt prohibits retaliation and will take no adverse action against persons for making good faith reports of fraud or other wrongdoing consistent with the False Claims Act and Whistleblower Protection and the Standards of Conduct. The HR policy lists the following as examples of prohibited retaliation and adverse action: discharge, demotion, suspension, harassment, denial of promotion, transfer or in any other manner discriminating or threatening to discriminate against a staff member in the terms and conditions of the employee’s employment.