Snitch. Rat. Tattletale. Trouble-maker. These are words that are most commonly used to describe a whistle-blower. You may even know someone who has described a person using one of these terms or maybe you’ve described a person like this at some point in your life. These are not words we use to describe someone we admire. Someone who’s trustworthy or someone we really like and trust. But let’s face reality. We really don’t like whistle-blowers. Although we know that it takes an extreme amount of courage to stand up to a system, when a person speaks out against an injustice we often immediately become distrustful of this person. We begin to think of every way possible to discredit this person who is attempting to shed light onto a situation that could protect us all from harm. But why? Why are we so quick to label these people as snitches and tattle-tales?
I spend my time either teaching or research about fraud and I know first-hand that whistle-blowers are a key source in fraud discovery. Whistle-blowers, like it or not, are part of the puzzle that often brings a fraud to the forefront. 40% of all frauds are discovered by a whistle-blower who is often an employee of the organization they are whistle-blowing about. But when an employee decides to take this step, they are taking a huge risk. Instead of being praised and rewarded, they are often ostracized and ridiculed for speaking up and if we want to fight fraud, this treatment must stop.Read more here.