Investigative Services

Billing Fraud & Working Time Fraud

What is working time fraud?

Working time fraud (time theft) occurs when an employee is paid for work, they didn’t actually do or for the time they didn’t actually work.

With today’s growing mobile workforce and easy access to the Internet, time fraud is an even bigger problem for employers today. So big that it costs billions of euros in productivity losses every year.

But time stealing isn’t limited to any particular type of person, title, or industry. Time thieves are everywhere and can get creative about how to avoid work – and with today’s mobile workforce, it’s clearly on the rise.

The MENG detective agency has already identified a wide variety of cases, as you can see from a few examples:

It is not uncommon for employees to falsify time or round up time when filling out time sheets. In fact, it happens more often than an employer thinks (for example, it is rounded up to half an hour a day). In a normal 5-day week, the employer suffers an average of around 2.5 hours of damage per week! Some employees even find ways to bypass electronic time recording systems.


elektronische Stechuhr zur Arbeitszeiterfassung

Buddy punching

Buddy punching is a big problem for many employers. A friend intervenes for another – even for those with time switches. It is often so simple, e.g. when an employee gives a buddy his chip card so that he can stab or log in on his behalf during the time recording.
The problem is even worse for employers who track time through paper timesheets, as it is almost too easy for an employee to sign up for a friend.

Long lunch and longer breaks

The extension of authorized meal times and breaks is another common form of working time fraud. A 30-minute lunch can easily turn into a 45-minute lunch, especially when employees don’t have to stand out for their lunch break.

Smoking breaks are particularly costly. According to a recent study by Ohio State University, each smoker costs employers an average of € 5,000 more than a non-smoker, mainly due to breaks and lost productivity.

Killing time

Employees are exposed to a variety of temptations throughout the working day, which can lead to absenteeism. This includes:

  • Too much socializing / talking to colleagues
  • Excessive personal calls
  • Unauthorized or long breaks
  • Napping at work
  • Private internet use

The internet presents employers with unique challenges, particularly with the advent of smartphones and tablets. Too many employees spend too much time:

  • Retrieve personal emails
  • Make purchases online
  • Online games
  • Operate another business during working hours
  • Social media

Field service employees, drivers and technicians

When employees are on the move – such as drivers, landscapers, technicians, or salespeople – it is particularly difficult to know whether they are really where they should be. They could hang out in the coffee shop or restaurant for a while, go home to let the dog out, or not even show up for work or the customer to visit.

Since the employees know that it is difficult or impossible for employers to verify this, it is easy and tempting for employees to disappear from the radar. Often employers only find out via a customer complaint, or it becomes painfully clear that the job is not getting done and immense economic damage has already been done.

What can I do if I suspect working time fraud?

As mentioned earlier, most work time scammers are smart and very creative. Many are willing to go to great lengths to avoid detection and persecution. If a person whose only investigative experience is watching police series on television tries to conduct their own investigation, they could expose themselves and even suddenly find themselves in a dangerous situation at times.

An employer cannot perform such investigations, even if there is justified suspicion, simply because of the lack of know-how with regard to observation and the legality of securing sufficient evidence. An amateur will expose themselves and ruin their case nearly 100% of the time and can also run into serious legal problems as a consequence.

The reporting takes place in written and visual documentation. All detectives involved are of course available to you as witnesses in court at any time.

Our fraud investigation department consists of qualified experts with extensive experience in detecting fraud and investigating such cases with concrete results that can be used in court. Our detectives are able to solve complex fraud investigations and achieve critical goals. Our primary focus is on detecting and preventing working time fraud and all other types of fraud.

From the observation to the smuggling of one or more of our detectives into your company, they document the uninterrupted working day of the or respective employee (s). The exact working hours, customer contacts and all other important events of the person to be observed are documented so that they can be used in court.

The reporting takes place in written and visual documentation. All detectives involved are of course available to you as witnesses in court at any time.

Who will pay the costs of the investigation?

According to the judgment of the Federal Court of Justice, the detective costs incurred for the investigation, are part of the legal costs, which in the event of a dispute, the losing party, under the condition that the detective work was necessary for the enforcement of the law, with reference to a specific suspicion. This applies to both the economic and the private sector.

This means: The detective agency proves that a criminal offense or misdemeanor was committed by the opposing party during the investigation and surveillance. In this case the losing party has to reimburse the detective costs.

Get a free, professional and non-binding consultation now!

Describe your case to us and we will examine individually how we can achieve the best results for you.

All customer advisors in our detective agency are available Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. by telephone, email and also personally by appointment.

You remain anonymous as long as you wish. You only reveal your identity to us when you place the order. All inquiries are treated with absolute confidentiality.

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Saturday: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m

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