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4 Ways Your Employees Could Be Scamming Your Time Card App

If you’re using a time card app to track time, you may think that employees can no longer commit theft. Unfortunately, even with a modern solution, there are many ways that employees can steal time and scam the time card app.

Being aware of the different ways an employee can use your timekeeper app to steal time can help you get ahead of the issue by implementing advanced features explicitly designed to prevent time theft.


This article will examine some of the most common ways employees can scam a time card app and how these forms of time theft can be prevented.

Scam Method #1: Buddy Punching

Buddy punching is a common form of time theft, with manual time clocks and a time card app. Employees will hit in or out for coworkers to get credit for working even if they are absent or leave early.

Buddy punching can cost businesses a significant amount of money in overpaid wages and loss of productivity, with employees cutting out of work early or not showing up. Additionally, it is more difficult to track actual absences and legitimate productivity issues.

An online timecard system has features that can prevent buddy punching by using unique identifiers such as facial recognition for punch in/punch out thumbprint or QR code scan and other features that prevent one employee from sticking for another.

Scam Method #2: Inflating Hours

Older time clock systems have less oversight than a modern time card app and can allow employees to artificially inflate their hours by staying punched in while doing tasks unrelated to their job. They can also steal time by taking unpaid breaks or lunches while on the clock. Not only does this cost money and hurt productivity, but it can also lead to labor law violations.

A modern team time-tracking app has notifications and reminders built-in to remind employees to punch out on time, take scheduled breaks, and ensure that all punches are logged. The app can even send this data to managers to address if an issue is present. In some cases, it may be something that can be effectively addressed. In other cases, if it is a clear case of time theft, the employee can be reprimanded or fired to stop violations.

Scam Method #3: Favoritism

Favoritism is not as common as the previous two methods but can happen when management prioritizes one employee over another. They could give them extra hours, allow them to work overtime, let them stay punched in while not working, and other such illegitimate benefits. Since many of these things are not tracked with an older time clock method, there is no real way to verify if an employee is being shown favoritism or given extra hours or privileges.

A modern time card app can safeguard against favoritism because every punch, action, or change to a time card is logged to be reviewed. Logging every activity means it will be captured in the system for other managers to see and be adequately addressed if someone shows favoritism.

Scam Method #4: Human Error

This is less about the intent to scam and more about the impracticality of inputting time manually or mistakenly punching in or out late. Traditional manual time clocks are prone to human error, and even some older time clock solutions don’t log hours as accurately as possible. This can lead to mistakes in hour calculations and pay calculations, ultimately costing businesses more money to pay too much for time worked or correct time card errors.

A modern time and attendance app logs time automatically, typically down to the minute. This makes it much more accurate. Also, in the event of an error, every punch attempt and alteration is logged so that human error is much less likely and potential issues are backed up by records to resolve disputes. This assures businesses that employee time is correct and employees the guarantee they’ll be paid for hours worked.

If you’re looking to transition to a modern one, it must be equipped with features that can reduce or even eliminate instances of time theft. If you’re already using a current time card app, be sure you’re taking advantage of every advanced feature possible. Not only is doing so detrimental to the success of your business but employee morale and productivity.

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