Blowing the whistle is a great responsibility and deciding when to expose the illegal activities of an organization should be done thoughtfully. Whistleblowers can be subject to serious consequences if they are caught. They could experience retaliation from the organization or industry, harassment by colleagues and co-workers, or a lawsuit. If they are an employee of the organization they are reporting on, they may face demotion, termination or general hostility. For these reasons, whistleblowers must be cautious in how they proceed.
The first thing any potential whistleblower must do is determine whether the organization is actually committing any fraudulent act. This is best done by seeking legal advice from an experienced whistleblower lawyer. If the organization is committing a fraudulent act, a whistleblower should also have convincing evidence of the fraudulent act. Evidence can be documents, voice or video recordings, pictures, witnesses, detailed recollections or more. With evidence, and the help of a whistleblower lawyer, a strategy can be created regarding, when, to whom and how the fraudulent act is reported. In certain instances, there are steps that might be taken before the whistle is blown to better protect the whistleblower and the claims.
Like most things, timing is everything. And knowing when to blow the whistle is a critical step.