Security Threat?

We are a phone sales company, we do credit checks on all employee/candidates and pride ourselves on our secure customer handling. Sales reps take customer creditcard numbers and have access to customer accounts for account management purposes. It has come to our attention that an employee/sales rep is in deep, personal financial distress and has extended himself far beyond reason. When hired, the employee was financially secure, but things have changed. The employee's performance has not changed, but his personal stress and situation are quite bad. He has let some co-workers know that he has acted irresponsibly to obtain money from family in order to cover some debts.

We are concerned that with the access he has to our customer accounts, he could be tempted to utilize customer credit card information. We have no knowledge that he has done this (yet). If we prohibit him from taking credit info/access to credit info, he cannot do his job. He ahs not done anything wrong, but he is in a position to do substaintial harm.

I am wondering if anyone has dealt with a similar situation. What did you do?


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You don't really say how you became aware of this situation, but if it was from his supervisor, as a first step, you can have the supervisor mention to him any free financial counseling services available through your EAP.
  • Hey, wasn't there just a Tom Cruise movie where they punished people for things they might do?

    I'd be really careful in disciplining someone for a potential act; he may solve his financial woes by suing your company.

  • This might be a prudent time to talk to your lawyer.  You need to determine what your is your greatest exposure/risk and the best possible way to mitigate that risk.
  • At this point you have no evidence of personal finical mismanagement other than what he has or has not told other employees.  Does your company have a way to audit how your employees use the customer’s information?  I would rely on any internal audits or procedures to monitor this employee as I would any other. (What about your other employees who have not disclosed their money woes? And I assure you there are some.)  You are assuming his finical issues will change his character to the extent he is willing to commit a criminal act. He is in the position to do substancial harm, but no more so then any of your other employees.  I assume that you are insured for this, and I think that is all you can do to be prepared in this situation or any other. 


  • [quote user="LadyAnn"]This might be a prudent time to talk to your lawyer.  You need to determine what your is your greatest exposure/risk and the best possible way to mitigate that risk.[/quote]

    Attitudes toward handling this type of thing will vary from circuit to circuit and state to state.  I would definitely consult legal counsel before doing anything outside of the norm.

    Unfortunately, internal controls are not sufficient because people can take credit card information outside of the workplace and misuse it or sell it to someone who will misues it.  We have a sales call center and we prohibit employees from having cell phones in view or powered on while in the call  center to avoid, among other things, texting and photographing sensitive information.

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