Financial Fraud

  • Identity theft is taking someone else’s personal information (such as, a driver license or identification card number, social security number, bank or credit card account numbers, etc.)

    An impostor can use your identity to open fraudulent credit accounts, secure loans for cars and housing, or steal money from your bank accounts. It is a serious crime with serious consequences.

  • There are 3 major types of financial fraud:
1)  Employee Embezzlement is stealing money, inventory or assets, and disbursement where the company pays for things it shouldn’t pay for.  Disbursement Fraud is by far the biggest problem.  

Embezzlement hurts the employer and the employees.  One study by an accounting firm found that 75% of companies surveyed in 2003 had experienced at least one fraud, and 60% of the frauds were perpetrated by employees.  1/3 of small businesses that fail, do so because of employee fraud.

Employers who suspect fraud must investigate to determine the truth.  Frauds always start small and are harder to detect, and then they grow rapidly and geometrically.

Employers must teach their employees to help eliminate the opportunity for fraud.  Also, allow employees to share questionable activity to management without incurring discipline for whistle-blowing.

2)  Management Fraud
usually occurs through manipulating financial statements or taking advantage of shareholders or stockholders.  They artificially inflate income, revenues and assets to make themselves look better than they are.

3)  Investment Fraud.
  One out of 3 Americans will lose money to an investment fraud.  “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”  If a company says, “This opportunity is limited to today, you have to jump in, now or never…” you might be better off by saying, “Never!”
  • Identity Theft.  Identity theft is when someone takes your credit card, Social Security or Drivers License #, and pretends they are you.  
  • Internet Fraud.  If you believe you have been a victim of an online scam, contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center .     
What You Can Do
  • Remove your name from marketing lists, and stop credit card junk mail:  call 1-888-5-OptOut    Also call the 3 credit bureaus’ 1-800 numbers and ask them not to sell your name to marketing companies.  Call the Direct Marketing Association and ask that they do not give your information out to any marketers.  
  • If identity theft happens to you, contact a Spokane Crime Victim Advocate for assistance, if needed, at: 
Spokane C.O.P.S. - Identity Theft Program
(509) 625-3328
Samantha Purcell, Crime Victim Advocate, Spokane COPS
spurcell@spokanecops.org
Contact them to make a presentation on Identify Theft awareness. 
http://www.spokanecops.org/site/6ff94093/everything-you-need-to-know-about-identity-theft?preview=true


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