Promote Other Hotlines to Promote Your Own
There is a marketing truism that you build relationships and trust with current and potential clients and customers by providing them with information of value—to them. This target audience is then inclined to consider your offerings as being of value as well. You can use this approach to promote your organization’s ethics and fraud hotline while also rendering a public service.
How? By providing information to your employees and their families about one or more of the government hotlines that have been established in response to consumer fraud and other types of fraud against vulnerable members of society. You can add a short sentence or two about your internal ethics and fraud hotline, thus gently promoting it without detracting from the primary message.
For example, the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging launched a fraud hotline two years ago to make it easier for senior citizens and their families to report suspected fraud and receive assistance. The hotline was a response, in part, to findings that 75% of victims age 55 and over did not report incidents of fraud, and often did not know where to turn for assistance on a wide variety of fraud and abuse situations.
Like many corporate ethics and fraud hotlines, consumers can contact the Special Committee on Aging’s hotline via a toll-free telephone number or an online web form. The hotline is staffed by committee investigators, although unlike many corporate hotlines, it is staffed only during standard work hours—9 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time. Also unlike most corporate hotlines, the committee hotline is not anonymous. But then, the staff not only fields fraud allegations but also provides information about fraud prevention and, where possible, directs callers to appropriate local resources and provides personalized advice.
In its first year of operations, according to the committee’s December 2014 report, staff responded to more than 1,900 calls, a majority of which fell into eight general areas: computer scams; grandparent scams; health-related scams; identity theft; lottery schemes; timeshare scams; fraud involving guardianship; and Social Security fraud. It also received more than 800 miscellaneous consumer complaints, including reports of deceptive business practices. The full report provides details and a list of related resources; see the link below.
The Senate special committee launched its fraud hotline in November 2013. Honor that anniversary by sharing information about fraud against seniors and about the related government hotline with your employees and their families. Don’t hesitate to add a small reminder about your organization’s internal ethics and fraud hotline. The total package will be information of value.
Ethical Advocate provides comprehensive ethics and compliance solutions, including ethics and compliance training and confidential and anonymous hotlines. Contact us for more information.
U.S.Senate Special Committee on Aging. Fighting Fraud: Lessons Learned from the Senate Aging Committee’s Consumer Hotline, December 2014. http://www.aging.senate.gov/download/fraud-hotline-repor
U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Fraud Hotline: 1-855-303-9470; http://www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline