An estimated 5% of annual corporate revenues are lost each year to fraud, represented in part by computer fraud. Protection against this threat requires a strong, proactive and comprehensive, entity-wide set of policies, procedures and controls. Anti-fraud measures should include strong manual and automated controls which are designed, implemented, tested and monitored to prevent and detect fraud on a timely basis. This presentation aims to explain how organizations can integrate anti-fraud initiatives into their daily activities to:
- Develop a system of manual and automated, preventative and detective anti-fraud internal controls
- Proactively monitor, identify, assess and manage fraud risks
- Creating an anti-fraud culture and fraud awareness program
- Respond to incidents involving fraud
A pyramid scheme is much like the old chain letters people received when the post office was the en vogue form of communication. The way this scheme works is simple and very identifiable. One person begins at the top of the pyramid and recruits a few other people to “invest” some amount of money, say $100, into the initial investor. These new recruits go out and recruit more people, who recruit more people thus promulgating the scam further. The fraud comes in when people closer to the bottom of the pyramid cannot recruit enough people to pay off those who are a level above them, thus losing money. There are many types of pyramid schemes that have similar motives and results: invest in order to see a profit, but there is nothing tangible to invest in. Other similar schemes are called, ponzi schemes, chain letters, and multilevel marketing.
The life of a money mule begins simply enough. An email arrives, often unsolicited, that asks whether or not you would like to change careers, receive copious amounts of money, and work unsupervised. Who wouldn’t want that? The job ads might call this position a payment processing manager, fund manager, transaction processing agent, or some other legitimate sounding name. Those who accept the position are instructed to transfer funds from one account to another, in the meantime gaining a percentage on the amount transferred. It seems like an easy job with more than adequate compensation so what’s the catch?
If you read the fine print you will see that this is just a basic money-laundering scheme. These money transfers the person engages in are illegal since the funds transferred are stolen. Those who participate could be fined or jailed. In the best case scenario, participating in such a scheme, even unknowingly, could result in a freezing of the victim’s account, while investigations go on.
There is another variation you should be aware of. Instead of transferring money over the wire some scams may ask you to deposit checks and then wire money elsewhere. The check will arrive in the mail and you go to cash it taking your promised percentage. The problem happens when the check bounces and the bank deducts the money from your account along with a fine after you have already wired the money elsewhere.