Fraud News Update 03.02.17 – This week’s edition features: Stopping Whistleblowers (corporations will try anything), Ransomware Rising (steady increases), Technology Disruption (device vulnerability), Tracking (private lives), O Canada (giant denial + food suspicion), Rocking Old School Frauds (odometer rollback), Notorious Grandma Arrested (bucket list) and Highlights (from our recent social media feed).
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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Some corporations are fighting back against whistleblowers using whatever employment means they have immediately available at their disposal. i.e. employment agreements, contracts, confidentiality agreements, trade secrets, acceptable use policies etc.
Not so fast! Those kinds of tactics might be enough to scare off some folks who are thinking about coming forward but given the glut of these cases moving through the legal system federal rulings may start to impact those types of employer practices.
Ransomware incidents are on the rise. Why? This may not exactly come as a newsflash to some…but it’s profitable!
Apparently, there are enough individuals and businesses who are willing to pay to get control of their computers back (or at least they think they’re getting control of their computers back) that the bad guys keep doing it. In fact, a recent study suggests a whopping rise of incidents (+ 267 %) over 11 months.
Of course, while one “may” actually get control of their computer back after paying (with “may” being the operative word here), there’s no honor among thieves. The reality here is that paying might actually result in larger losses once your bank accounts are cleaned out by the crooks. I guess it’s “payer beware” here!
Technology Disruption: Device Vulnerability
Let’s face it, we’re a society about convenience.
More tech devices, which are supposed to make our lives convenient, like cameras, alarm systems, video cameras, baby monitors, security devices, smoke detectors, thermostats and appliances are being connected to the Internet.
The more convenient things are the more people tend to like them…and if it can be monitored from your smart phone, then it’s like crooks hitting “3 lemons on a slot machine!” Security, however, is an afterthought for many people and takes a backseat to how convenient something is. i.e. the risk is worth the reward.
The reality: if it’s connected, it’s vulnerable. WORD!
Tracking Private Lives
So, personal privacy’s gotten to be a pretty big deal everywhere globally. And that’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
A significant part of the investigations industry uses what is generally referred to as the “privacy expectation guideline” to determine whether a particular investigative technique is appropriate in a case or not.
Common sense would seem to suggest that while someone is driving in the public domain, they probably have no expectation of privacy and what people observe them doing there is fair game. However, experience also suggests that putting an electronic tracker on someone’s car, without their permission, to track their whereabouts likely violates all sorts of criminal laws and individual privacy expectations.
It didn’t in this case but a word of advice for private investigators in states that have actually enacted strict privacy or intercept legislation: this probably won’t fly outside of Cobb County, Georgia. More is sure to be written about this case, possibly even legislation. Stay tuned!
Canada’s one of my favorite places to go. The people are super fantastic, outdoor activities are incredible and the scenery’s amazing.
So, I’m hard pressed to say bad things about the place unless of course the Chicago Blackhawk’s are playing games against their Canadian rivals. Then, all gloves are off!
However, a fraud detection study was recently released about the corporate anti-fraud culture in Canada leading one former RCMP investigator to proclaim that Canadian businesses are in “giant denial.” I guess that’s better than “clueless,” but perhaps that’s what he was implying.
A second Canadian survey queried individual respondents about food fraud. Over 60% were concerned about the risks of mislabeled food but only a small percentage of those participated indicated that they trusted the food industry. This suggests Canadians really aren’t that “clueless” after all.
One thing that’s absolutely NOT in question is the fishing north of the border…it’s fantastic, eh?!
Rocking OLD SCHOOL Frauds
Fraud’s a dynamic and constantly changing crime which often changes by the day. That creates opportunity for a ton of new age frauds to be committed by global bad actors.
But perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions is the “out with the old…in with the new” philosophy. Because when it comes to fraud, that simply ISN’T the case. Just because we’re being bombarded with new types of high-tech, digital crimes doesn’t mean the old school crimes just go away. Quite the contrary.
There’s always someone committing fraud and as this case reminds us, old school frauds are still being committed. Let’s not forget where we’ve been for the sake of where we’re going.
Notorious 99 Year Old Grandma Arrested
Many people have “bucket lists” but I’m pretty certain that most of them do not include this!
Hey, this woman’s lived to be almost 100. Who are we to judge what’s on someone else’s bucket list? As the old saying goes: To each his, or her, own!”