As various criminal organizations seek to exploit electronic systems, check fraud and identity theft have become increasingly prevalent. While banks have been emphasizing the use of technology to speed up transactions, the protections around those transactions have languished.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article (subscription required), nearly two dozen gang members in Brooklyn, New York, were accused of creating and depositing fake checks and then quickly withdrawing the money before the banks had time to detect the fraud. Damages are estimated at more than $500,000.
In many cases investigated by BKD forensics professionals, fraudsters created fake bank statements and invoices as part of misappropriation schemes. This highlights the importance of verifying the authenticity of financial documents.
In addition, identity theft has significantly increased in recent years as thieves have become more successful at stealing tax identification numbers and filing fraudulent income tax returns to obtain refunds. In one 2014 case, the conspirators managed to obtain personally identifiable information of more than 2,600 taxpayers.
Protecting personal information is an important part of a fraud prevention program, and cybersecurity is becoming one of the main firewalls for deterring the threat of financial fraud and identity theft.
BKD offers a wide range of IT Risk Services to help financial institutions identify and manage the threat of data breaches. These services include an evaluation of your organization’s exposure to social engineering as well as efforts to raise employee awareness through simulated pretext phone calling, spoofing, phishing, physical access attempts and the use of malware and counterfeit websites. Visit our website to learn more about our cybersecurity solutions.