Set Sail at the ACFE Global Fraud Conference in Baltimore

GUEST BLOGGER

John E. Grimes III, President, Maryland Chapter

The Maryland Chapter is thrilled that the 26th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference is being held in Baltimore this June. We are proud and excited to show off Baltimore’s charm and beauty to three -thousand members of the ACFE from around the world. Over the past three decades, Baltimore has emerged as a Renaissance City. Baltimore is home to Major League Baseball’s Orioles and the National Football League’s Ravens. Johns Hopkins Hospital, widely regarded as one of the world's greatest hospitals, and the Johns Hopkins University, are located in Baltimore.

Baltimore is the second largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic, lying on the Patapsco River, a branch of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor, just a block or two from the ACFE Global Fraud Conference venue and the conference hotels, attracts visitors from all over the world. The Inner Harbor is home to the National Aquarium, named one of the best aquariums in the U.S. by the Travel Channel. Another popular attraction located at the Inner Harbor is the Maryland Science Center, with three levels of exhibits, a planetarium and an observatory. Docked at the Inner Harbor are the historic ships USS Constellation, built in 1854, the USS Torsk, one of two Tech Class submarines located in the U.S., and the USCGC Taney, the last ship standing that fought at Pearl Harbor.

And of course, Baltimore’s harbor is the home of Fort McHenry. Fort McHenry is primarily known for the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. American troops stationed at Fort McHenry stopped the British invasion of Baltimore. The battle inspired Francis Scott Key, who was aboard a ship behind the British fleet during the battle, to pen the poem, “Defense of Fort McHenry,” which was later renamed the “Star Spangled Banner.” The poem was set to the tune, “To Anacreon in Heaven" by John Stafford Smith and became our National Anthem.

There is so much to see and experience in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and so little time. So, what a better way to experience all that Baltimore’s harbor has to offer then taking a cruise? The Maryland Chapter has made arrangements for attendees of the ACFE Global Fraud Conference and their guest to tour Baltimore’s Harbor with a “Sunset Cocktail Cruise” aboard Baltimore’s premier cruise ship, the Spirit of Baltimore. The 2-hour cruise will set sail on Monday, June 15, 2015 at 6 p.m., after the conference sessions. The Spirit of Baltimore is docked just a block or two from the convention center and conference hotels. Included with the cruise will be a variety of eats, coffee, tea and a cash bar. DJ entertainment will take place on each deck.

The best news is that tickets for this spectacular evening are only $10 per person. The $10 per person fee will be donated to the ACFE Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Fund. Tickets must be purchased in advance through the Maryland Chapter website at www.cfemd.org. Click on the link for the “Spirit of Baltimore Cruise” to register and pay. There is only room for 400 people, so I encourage attendees to register early to reserve a space. I hope to see you there! 

3 Sample Scripts You Can Use While Navigating Your Job Search

GUEST BLOGGER

Kimberly Schneiderman, NCRW, CLTMC, CEIC
Owner, City Career Services

As a career coach, clients often say to me “Hold on, I want to write down what you just said.” Or “Your wording is perfect; I wish I could remember it when I am in an interview.” Whenever this happens, I am honored to have gained the trust and confidence of my clients. And, like most situations, things can be a bit clearer from the outside.

With that mind, let’s review some sample scripts you can use (pulled from real situations) as you navigate your own job search and networking pursuits:

  • Self-Marketing Message: Next time someone asks you “So, what do you do?” take advantage of the opportunity to answer in a way that communicates what you want to be doing. Try answering using a combination of present-day information, while also mentioning your goal. If you are in an aggressive job search, it might sound something like this: ”I am a fraud analyst with a specialty in credit card payments for large retailers and anchor stores. Right now I am at Nordstrom, and am seeking a new position, ideally for a global retail organization.”
  •  LinkedIn Networking: Perhaps there is a position at Bank of America listed on LinkedIn and you want to connect with a real person about that job, but you only have 2nd-degree connections to people there. Go ahead and contact the shared 1st-degree connections with this: “Hi Jeff, great seeing you at the ACFE conference last month. Right now, I’m hoping you can help me with something. There is an open fraud examiner position at Bank of America; I see that you know John Doe at the company. Would you be willing to introduce me to John so I can ask him a couple questions about the job?” Once Jeff makes the introduction, you can talk with John about your background and see what he knows about the open position. Ultimately, if things go smoothly, you might ask John for an introduction to the hiring manager for that position.
  • How to Yes, but No. But, more importantly Yes!: Perhaps a recruiter has approached you about an open training position that intrigues you, but your skill set isn’t a 100 percent match. Try this: “I welcome the opportunity to speak with the organization about their training program needs. My experience is not a direct match for their entire needs list, so perhaps they may want to talk with me about how my niche experience could fit some of their needs.” From there, give a synopsis of that niche experience. No matter what, there is almost always a way to tie the experience you do have with at least part of the company’s needs.

Try these ideas in your search and let me know how they turn out at the Career Connection at this year’s ACFE Global Fraud Conference!

For Credit Card Security, U.S. Banks Need to Rethink PINs

FROM THE PRESIDENT

James D. Ratley, CFE
ACFE President and CEO

Verifying a credit card purchase with a signature is less burdensome to a consumer than having to remember a four-digit personal identification number (PIN). Unfortunately, it is also considerably less secure. According to a recent CFO article, the Association for Finance Professionals found in its 2015 Payments Fraud and Control Survey that 61 percent of respondents believe chip and PIN will be the most effective authentication method for mitigating fraud, while only 7 percent saw chip and signature as most effective.

In the coming weeks and months, several major U.S. banks will roll out new credit cards with embedded computer chips for added security. Rather than combining this technology with a PIN, as implemented in countries in Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere, they have decided (for now) to use the more familiar and traditional verification method of a signature as a matter of convenience for customers.

U.S. credit cardholders must ask themselves which is more of a burden: completing their purchase using a PIN; or dealing with the fallout from a compromised account, stolen identity or damaged credit history? Most people would agree that the latter are frustrating and potentially life-changing burdens that far outweigh convenience.

Chip and PIN security measures combine to substantially decrease the risk of fraud. The technology is not new – European banks introduced it in 2002, and experts predicted then that it would become the global standard. Chip-and-signature authentication, by comparison, comes up short. Signatures can be copied or forged and do not offer the same level of security as a unique PIN known to the legitimate card holder.

Merchant groups agree. In a December 29th letter to the president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), leaders of seven prominent U.S. merchant groups stated that “ignoring PIN technology leaves us all more vulnerable.” The letter goes on to explain: “’Chip-and-PIN’ has already shown success throughout the world and could reduce fraud losses in the U.S. by as much as 40 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The added security provided when each customer is given a unique personal identification number or PIN has already been shown to make debit card transactions 700 percent safer. Alternatives such as ‘chip-and-signature’ do not provide this level of security. Furthermore, PINs would also make ‘card-not-present’ transactions safer by adding another layer of authentication.”

The message to J.P. Morgan Chase, Discover, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and other large banks is clear: consumer protection is paramount. After the massive data breaches involving Target Corp., Home Depot and other large retailers, Americans are looking for reassurance that their personal and financial information is secure. According to a Unysis Security Index, “the top three threats most worrisome in the United States in 2012 were identity theft, bankcard fraud and national security as it relates to terrorism.” More than half of Americans surveyed were seriously concerned about someone obtaining and using their credit or debit card information.

It is true that in today’s digital age, most individuals must remember a host of passwords and codes for various accounts and online activities, including existing PINs for any debit cards they might use. Having another PIN to remember certainly places a burden on the credit card holder. But it is not an undue burden when considering the added level of protection.

For its part, Target announced in the wake of its data breach that beginning early this year, all Target-branded credit cards and debit cards will include chip and PIN technology. If customers at nearly 1,800 Target stores across the U.S. can become accustomed to using a PIN to complete their credit card purchase, fellow Americans can follow suit. In fact, consumers will likely embrace the two-factor security as they have in Europe, knowing it is providing an increased level of protection from credit card fraud.

Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs), the experts who investigate financial crimes around the globe, know the importance of preventing the next fraud before it occurs. In all frauds, including those involving credit cards, recovering the proceeds of the crime is often difficult or impossible. Whether it be the bank, merchant or customer, someone always loses. When a method such as PIN promises to decrease the incidence of fraud, it should be implemented.

Credit card fraud is a harrowing experience for the victim. Just ask those who spend months or years dealing with investigators, their bank, credit reporting agencies and others just to repair their credit history. The technology is here to better protect consumers from having to take such a journey. The sooner we collectively join our neighbors in other parts of the world in providing both chip and PIN technology, the better.