How to Know if Your Getting Scammed

Those you commit fraud are getting more and more aggressive with each passing year. In today’s business world it can be hard to weed out who is trustworthy and who is looking to scam you. Susan Salisbury has given us some things we need to look out for. She states that it’s probably a scam if someone:
•Makes an offer that sounds too good to be true

•Promises that you can win money, make money, or borrow money easily

•Asks for money to enter a contest, win a sweepstakes or lottery, or claim a prize

•Refuses to send you written information before you agree to buy or donate

•Refuses to give you a physical address

To learn more about how to prevent your business from getting scammed read Susan’s article at http://www.dallasnews.com/business/business-headlines/20140205-telemarketing-fraud-on-the-rise-as-scammers-find-ways-to-call-millions.ece

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A Look Back: The Most Reported Fraud Cases of 2013

At the start of each New Year it’s important to take a look back and learn from the past. It is often lessons from the fraud cases of the past year that can help business leaders protect their businesses in the future. Susan Salisbury of the Cox Newspaper has provided us with the most-reported type of fraud cases in 2013.

1. Fake check scams: The consumer is paid for work or an item he is trying to sell with a phony check and instructed to wire money back to the buyer.
2. Internet merchandise sales: Goods purchased are never delivered or are misrepresented.
3. Prizes/sweepstakes/free gifts: Requests for payment to claim prizes that never materialize.
4. Advance fee loans: False promises of business or personal loans, even if credit is bad, for a fee upfront.
5. Phishing/spoofing: Emails pretending to be from a well-known source ask consumers to

To find out more about the top fraud cases of 2013 and how to protect yourself go to Susan’s article at http://www.dallasnews.com/business/business-headlines/20140205-telemarketing-fraud-on-the-rise-as-scammers-find-ways-to-call-millions.ece

Lessons Learned from a Columbus Schools Fraud Investigation

After an 18-month investigation that ended in January, Ohio State Auditor Dave Yosts discovered that some Columbus school employees had been deceiving state and federal education departments by altering student data files in order to boost the district’s performance.

Yosts stated that the problem boiled down to the fact that those in charge “helped create the environment where administration felt free to play fast and loose with the data, contrary to Ohio law.”

In order to prevent an entitled environment from taking ahold of your company, apply these three key lessons:
1.Tone starts at the top. If top executives or administrators do not follow the rules then others will follow their example. It is important employees know that fraud or other financial misconduct will not be tolerated.
2.Checks and balances. No one person should have full control over any aspect of a system. In the case of the Columbus schools, the Principal may have covered up the data scrubbing but there could have been other district supervisors or boards to monitor her actions.
3.Ethical goals. Set goals that are realistic and can be achieved in an ethical way. Creating an environment where it is difficult to achieve success can set the stage for fraudulent behavior. It essentially creates one element of the fraud triangle, which is motive.

Learn more from Bill Bush and Jennifer Smith Richards article at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/01/28/1-columbus-school-audit-yost.html.

Tip Hotlines Are Effective in Preventing, Detecting Employee Fraud (Insurance Journal)

Most occupational frauds are discovered by an anonymous tip, experts say, and fraud reporting mechanisms such as hotlines are encouraged as effective means of uncovering and discouraging employee fraud.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) recommends that hotlines should be able to receive tips from internal sources as well as from those outside the organization. The person calling should be assured that their comments are anonymous and confidential, and will be listened to. It is also helpful if they are monitored by a third party organization.

Continue reading at Insurance Journal.

Phone-Fraud Schemes Using High-Tech Net Tactics (Boston Globe)

New technology has led to an onslaught of Internet-inspired fraud tactics that try to use telephone calls to dupe millions of people or to overwhelm switchboards for essential public services, causing deep concern among law enforcement and other groups.

People, businesses, and government agencies across the country are combating the new schemes, in which scammers use the Internet to send a disabling number of calls at the same time. Many of the attacks bombard individuals with automated requests for personal data, in a variation of their e-mail-scam cousins. Others are more vicious, flooding entire phone systems when demands are not met, similar to some attacks against websites.

“You can blast out 100 million calls from the comfort of your keyboard,” said Kati Daffan, a lawyer at the Federal Trade Commission.

In October, the Department of Homeland Security advised federal agencies, local governments, and other organizations to be prepared for so-called denial of service attacks, which flood phone systems with calls, making them unusable. The warning came after attacks against a sheriff’s office in the South and another against a Coast Guard cutter. The department said there had been over 200 such attacks identified against public sector groups.

Continue reading at The Boston Globe.

Insurance Journal: Portrait of an Employee Fraudster

It may come as a surprise to some that the typical fraudster in the workplace is not the bad-attitude ne’er-do-well that slinks off into the corner when faced with new responsibilities and additional tasks. Rather, the high-performing extrovert that never takes a vacation is more likely to perpetrate a fraud against his employer.

They’re generally male, according to Mark Lowers, president of the Purcellville, Va.-based international risk management firm, Lowers & Associates. “They’re typically tenured, people that have been with an organization for quite some time and are generally high performers. People like them. They do well, they’re risk takers but they get the job done,” Lowers said during a presentation at the 2013 Risk and Insurance Management Society’s annual conference.

More often than not, they are people within the organization that are respected by senior management; in fact, 25 percent of perpetrators are senior managers. They are in the position to be able to do something, Lowers said. And generally, motivated by greed or debt, they act alone.

While 85 percent of occupational fraudsters are males between the ages of 30 and 45, some of the most creative perpetrators are women.

Read more of Stephanie Jones’ article at Insurance Journal.
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/midwest/2014/01/23/317956.htm