RECAP: Fraud Week's Top Free Resources


Mandy Moody
ACFE Content Manager

I can't even begin to describe the amount of International Fraud Awareness Week activity we have seen on social media this year. I guess that was my way of beginning to describe the amount of activity we saw. With more than 10 million impressions on Twitter and numerous infographics and blog posts, this year's reach has surpassed previous years by millions. 

So, I am left with two tiny words to express the overwhelming sense of support you have all spread over the last five days. Thank you. Thank you to the individuals creating one-page documents. Thank you to the organizations officially supporting the cause. And, thank you to the many people who came together from different industries to host events. 

Here are just a few of the resources I caught this week that I hope you can use in your own efforts moving forward:

Again, thank you to everyone that participated in Fraud Week this year. There are so many more resources than the ones I highlighted above, so take some time and search for #FraudWeek on Twitter and Facebook. We will meet again in 2017!

Insider Fraud: Preventing a Catastrophic Event



Bruce Dubinsky, CFE, MsT, CPA, CVA
Managing Director, Duff & Phelps, LLC

It’s no surprise that companies have fraud on their mind these days. As of May, a Verizon report revealed that 6 million data breaches in businesses worldwide had already occurred in 2016. In response, steps have been taken by organizations to protect themselves from outside hacker threats — but this might not be enough. Unbeknownst to many, the bigger danger to these companies and their customers’ data arises from those who are trusted the most: 50 percent of all security incidents are caused by people inside an organization. According to the 2016 ACFE Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, a typical organization loses an estimated 5 percent of revenue a year as a result of fraud.

The onset of International Fraud Awareness Week, November 13-19, provides a compelling opportunity to discuss the dangers and prevention methods of insider fraud.

We can start with the understanding that learning that your company’s confidential data was stolen, not by a hacker, but by an employee, is a catastrophic scenario that no organization wants to face. Although sometimes these data breaches are unintentional — perpetrated by careless employees — in most circumstances, they are the result of malicious intent. Oftentimes, personally identifiable information (PII) is stolen to be sold on the black market or used to receive social security benefits, open new credit card accounts or to apply for insurance benefits.

The ACFE report finds that a perpetrators’ level of authority is directly related to the magnitude of the fraud, as the losses incurred from the scheme by an owner or executive (about $703,000) are more than four times the median loss by managers (about $173,000) and nearly 11 times as much as the loss caused by rank-and-file employees (about $65,000).

Companies can combat insider fraud by developing safety measures that emphasize a team approach, through which all areas of the organization or agency work together to identify threats and prevent them from escalating into significant losses. The Report to the Nations found that when organizations adopt and encourage an “if you see something, say something” approach, they can mitigate losses by up to 54 percent. In addition, insider fraud can be detected up to 50 percent faster.

Consistent with this approach, the most common detection method in the ACFE study was from employee tips (39.1 percent of cases). Organizations that had reporting hotlines were also much more likely to detect fraud through these tips than organizations without a reporting outlet (47.3 percent compared to 28.2 percent, respectively). Additionally, when fraud was uncovered through methods such as surveillance and monitoring or account reconciliation, the loss duration of schemes was lower than when the schemes were detected through passive methods, such as notification by police or by accidental discovery. Many agencies also had success with professionally-manned hotlines for whistleblowers.

There are valuable resources available to help your company take the necessary steps to prevent insider fraud. The LexisNexis® Fraud Defense Network, of which I am a board member, provides resources such as the Identity Fraud Protection Playbook and technology for cross-industry fraud prevention. Take the quiz to see how your fraud prevention efforts measure up to the competition and collect valuable insights on preparing for this significant threat.

You can find more free resources to spread fraud awareness, like social media badges, infographics and videos, at

Fraud Week News and Resources You May Have Missed


Mandy Moody
ACFE Social Media Specialist

The ACFE would like to say “thank you” to all of the International Fraud Awareness Week Official Supporters, supporting media, bloggers, tweeters and posters for your efforts this week. The activity on social media, blogs and in the press has been tremendous and something we can only hope to top next year.

Even with the many articles and resources shared, you may not have seen all that was done to spread the word about fraud detection and prevention. Here are some Fraud Week highlights you may have missed:

• Designing an Effective Anti-Fraud Program: PDF resource specifically designed to assist you in honing your fraud awareness messaging and ensuring the efficient use of anti-fraud training resources.
• Fraud of the Day: A daily commentary from LexisNexis on how fraud is perpetrated against government programs.
• Thomson Reuters White Papers: Download free white papers covering subjects like health care fraud, government fraud and money laundering. Read more at their blog, The Knowledge Effect.
• Cynthia Hetherington’s Four Tips on Minimizing the Impact of Fraud: The Hetherington Group reviews five steps businesses can take today to prevent fraud in the workplace. Bonus: Check out the five employee-monitoring controls. 
• Top 10 Reasons to Authenticate Your Suppliers: Your employees are not the only people who could steal from you. Learn why it is imperative to check out your vendors and suppliers.
• Six Ways to Reduce the Risk of Fraud and Errors While Managing Spreadsheet Content: With more data comes more risk for error. Heed these tips so you don’t end up on the wrong side of a spreadsheet fraud.

Did we miss any resources or highlights? Let us know! Email us at

Until next year...

LexisNexis® Joins with ACFE to Fight Fraud


Larry Benson
Director of Strategic Alliances, Revenue Discovery and Recovery
LexisNexis Risk Solutions

We all know that companies, academia, non-profits and governments are defrauded each year and lose billions of dollars, as a result. The key impediments to stopping fraud are 1) knowing how to detect it and 2) knowing how to prevent it. By sponsoring International Fraud Awareness Week, the ACFE is helping to raise awareness and to educate the fraud prevention community about the resources, tools and best practices available to stop fraud.

My company, LexisNexis, is proud to be a supporter of International Fraud Awareness Week. LexisNexis is so committed to the concept of educating people about fraud that they asked me to author Fraud of the Day, a daily commentary on how fraud is perpetrated against government programs. At LexisNexis, we view Fraud of the Day as an important educational resource for government officials to learn how fraudsters are scamming the government, so they can be knowledgeable about fraudsters’ techniques and be better prepared to prevent them from succeeding.  

That’s really what International Fraud Awareness Week is all about – fostering an opportunity for fraud prevention experts to learn what works and what doesn’t in the fight against fraud. And winning that fight begins with talking about the challenges faced by the fraud prevention community. Along those lines, here’s my take on one of the most prevalent types of fraud in the government today: identity fraud.

Identity Fraud – Why the U.S. Will Continue to Suffer

Fraud is defined as a deliberate deception or cheating intended to create an advantage or a gain. Fraud requires two specific things to take place. First, a party must purposely present a mistruth or lie. Second, a different party must accept the misrepresentation as truth.

In cases of government fraud, the accepting party is always the government agency. Federal, state and local governments often depend on self-reported information coming directly from the potential beneficiary. This information, often unsubstantiated, creates an opportunity for deception.

Government program theft is a significant issue within all benefits-based programs. At the foundation of these programs is the most basic question: “who are you?” There are a number of ways to misrepresent the identity of an individual, and the legal documents to substantiate that misrepresentation are easily created or stolen.

The ubiquitous identifier for U.S. citizens is the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Social Security number (SSN). This number has been used for decades to uniquely identify individuals for both commercial as well as government endeavors. The SSA began issuing SSNs in 1935, with the original purpose of tracking individuals for only Social Security purposes. It has since been widely adopted as the defacto national identifier.

Printed on the Social Security card (SSC) from 1946 to 1972 was the wording “Not for Identification.”  This was printed because the SSC was, and still is, not suitable for identification – it does not have a photograph, physical description or date of birth. In fact, all the SSC does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name.

So, how is it that identity fraud is so easy to perpetrate and so difficult to stop? Because the very foundation to establish an identity is easily stolen and/or recreated. As shown above, even the SSA acknowledges that the SSC should not be used as identification, no less just the number. With just a name and matching SSN, an unscrupulous individual can quickly claim government benefits under another persons’ name/identity. The enablement of technology, especially the Internet, allows fraudsters to easily register and claim benefits under the identities of others without even having to visit the agencies’ office. 

Programs ranging from tax return submissions, to food stamps to student loans face a large percentage of identity fraud. How can this be stopped? A national identification card (NIC) must be adopted that ties in biometrics and two factor authentication. A Smart Chip embedded NIC that contains one of the following: fingerprints, facial recognition, voice print or retinal scan information must be used to verify the identity of the individual presenting the NIC. The NIC should contain four critical features: a photograph, the biometric data, an internally retained PIN that is only known to the holder, and a sequencing number allowing all government agencies to look up and access the biometric data for identity verification.

Until the U.S. is ready to move away from the 20th century methodology of identification and embraces 21st century technologies, fraud will continue to grow at triple -digit rates and continue to overrun our agencies.

To read more about how government agencies can combat and prevent fraud, visit