Fraud Solutions: Fraud News Update 01.05.17

Fraud News Update

Fraud News Update 01.05.17 – This is the first Fraud News Update of 2017! This week’s “beginning of year” edition features: States Most Vulnerable to ID Theft and Fraud (Top Ten), Up in Smoke (banking laws changing?), Big Data is Great (junk without the right steps), Death by Computer (yes, you can die from a cyberattack), Retro is Cool (30 Rock and the Special Intelligence Service) and Boob Job (how do you go about repossessing these?)

As leaders in the fraud consulting arena, read on for more topical information and our insights, observations and unique commentary on some of the weekly fraud news stories.

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Fraud News Update 01.05.17States Most Vulnerable to ID Theft and Fraud

So, wouldn’t it be nice if you knew which states had the highest probability of fraud being committed in that state? Oh wait, you do.

This is a a handy piece of information to have. I certainly hope that none of you live in ANY of THESE states? Oh, wait… I DO! Uggh!

We should always take steps to protect our identities and personal information from fraud and theft. But beware, if you live in one of the states listed in the report, extra vigilance is in order!

Well, maybe it’s not all “gloom and doom.” There are several states people might want to retire to where it’s always sunny and warm. Thanks to this report, we can now scratch them as well! Texas, California and Florida are all on the list as is one of my favorite places to fish: Michigan.

What’s are people to do?! That “cave thing,” with no access to anything digital or electronic, is sounding better and better.

Fraud News Update 01.05.17Up in Smoke

No, this isn’t a reference to the classic 1978 Cheech and Chong stoner comedy movie. It is, however, indicative of a bigger issue: a growing industry in many states without access to traditional banking services.

The piles of money sitting around might actually be leading to more violent crimes since the bad actors know that industry players are often personally transporting large sums of money to pay for their inventory and retail crop purchases. Businesses are also stockpiling revenue, usually cash, in assorted places since they have no access to legalized banking services.

The legalized marijuana industry is quite the conundrum for the U.S. government since there are still federal marijuana laws on the books which clash directly with the laws that have now been passed in many states.

Read more about proposed changes to the federal laws that some legislators are backing and asking FINCEN to adopt.

Fraud News Update 01.05.17Its Junk Without the Right Foundation

Well, it certainly can be if your company doesn’t know what it’s doing or have a holistic data plan in place for dealing with it.

The data by itself, however, is meaningless unless it’s actionable and has the right policies, processes and procedures (the 3 P’s) wrapped around it.

But there are actually 4 P’s in this equation. The 4th P: people. Not only does staff have to understand the data initiative but they have to be well-trained and operate within the framework of the corporate program and regulatory guidelines established.

Absent that, you can have all the data in the world; you can have the best data quality; and you can have the best technology but it might be meaningless. Because even with these attributes you’ll end up with a whole bucket full of nothing if the program isn’t robust and inclusive of people, policies, processes and procedures.

Fraud News Update 01.05.17Death by Computer

It wasn’t that long ago that if someone told you that a person (or people) could die from a cyberattack (you know…   committed by a computer of all things) you’d wonder what they’d been smokin! That must be some good stuff, there.

But times have certainly changed and cyberattacks are far more prevalent now than ever before.

A well-known cybersecurity guru in the early 90’s once said to me “for every physical crime that can be committed in the real world, there’s a corresponding crime on the Internet.” Including murder, I asked? “Including murder,” was his reply.

What’s interesting to me is that here we are 25 years later and that comment doesn’t sound that far-fetched at all. Now, we’ve learned that crimes which start digitally can have corresponding physical impacts including death. Logically then, this creates an insurance coverage issue for cyberattacks that ultimately cause physical damage

Still having trouble piecing this together? Think about the impact hackers can have on home devices connected to the Internet? We’re starting to see daily examples of compromised in home devices. Or the impact on a cars onboard computer system when bad actors get control of your car…while you’re driving it?!

It also wasn’t that long ago that homicide detectives starting asking about life insurance policies in place while investigating murders. Follow the money has become everyone’s mantra.

Similarly, as we approach the IOT (Internet of Things) era, we’re starting to see more and more computer connectivity to physical crimes, even when they’re homicides.

“What was odd 25 years ago is the norm today.”

Fraud News Update 01.05.17Retro is Cool: 30 Rock & the Special Intelligence Service

Last year, I was watching an “Agent Carter” episode (a circa 1940’s Marvel show featuring a female special agent working for a war era (WWII) intelligence agency in New York City.

Coincidentally, in another Marvel episode, Captain America woke up from an induced sleep and busts out of a downtown NY intelligence office onto a crowded NY city street.

While I’m neither Stan Lee, nor privy to what was in Stan’s mind when these scripts featuring a downtown NY intelligence agency were written, it appears to me that this could very well be one of those instances where art imitates life. Retro is cool. What’s old is new again.

Just a hunch, but I find it hard to believe that Marvel didn’t have some historical research for the setting and connected the intelligence agency dots for the location.

Then, I happened on this cool story about the Special Intelligence Service (SIS) operating in Rockefeller Center (downtown NY) in the 1940’s and got all “geeked up” about the sheer genius of the location (hiding in plain sight) and the counter intelligence operation’s mission during parts of WWII.

This may be one of the earliest examples of law enforcement setting up a storefront sting operation. Clearly, this tactic set the stage for future law enforcement ops. I.e. don’t go looking for the suspects… set up shop and let them come to you.

Case in point, several years ago federal agents (I believe they were in San Diego) set up a meth related chemical supply shop. After customers purchased their supplies, they were surveilled to see where they went. Regularly, the agents had to actually hang the “we’re closed” sign on the store doors because they were out of the store surveilling so many suspects.

A 1940’s store front counter intelligence op at 30 Rock… pretty darn cool!

Fraud News Update 01.05.17Boob Job

Lastly, I put this out on my Twitter feed this morning and felt compelled to add it here for your personal enjoyment.

Law enforcement agencies routinely repossess the proceeds of illegal criminal activity that they can prove were purchased with the ill-gotten booty.

In this case, I’m somewhat”tongue in cheek” wondering how they’d go about repossessing these?! OR does the owner get to keep the enhancements despite the illegality in which they were purchased?

Afterall, isn’t “possession” 9/10th’s of the law.  Things that make ya go hmmm.

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