Compiled By Deborah Austin Eighty percent of American workers would willingly blow the whistle on workplace fraud. And with workers estimating that firms lose 20% of earnings to such fraud, wise employers should leverage that willingness to defend company assets, suggests professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP. In a survey of 617 American workers, professional services firm Ernst & Young, New York, found 21% are personally aware of fraud in their workplace. But only 43% of those have reported it. Of employees surveyed, 44% said management could better enable whistle-blowing -- through tougher sanctions (59%); better role models/leadership (58%); better communication about taboos (56%); better investigation (56%); and improved new-employee screening (54%). Overwhelmingly, workers said anonymity was the best motivator for informers -- whether by phone call (30%); hotline (27%); letter (20%) or Web site (16%). But management inaction will stymie even the best reporting mechanisms -- "because by default, fraud becomes acceptable behavior" - warns Stephen Seliskar, a leader in Ernst & Young's Fraud, Forensic & Investigation Services group.