This week, in support of ACFE’s Fraud Week 2020, we highlight some of our more popular anti-fraud blog posts, Data2Know newsletter articles, FactSheets, and webinars.
In X, we issued an Hg FactSheet entitled, “Protection Tips against Predators of the COVID-KIND,” which highlights fraudulent schemes and provides tips for protecting businesses, seniors, and children. Here, we highlight some of the findings:
The world has been living under the threat of coronavirus for most of 2020. Hope is on the horizon, as two research firms—Pfizer and Moderna— have announced vaccines with 90-94.5% success rates. We may finally be pulling our planet out of the pandemic, but fraudsters will continue to try and capitalize on others’ suffering and vulnerability.
> >The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reported receiving 106% increase in CyberTipline reports in March 2020 compared to March 2019 and a 318% increase in April compared to April 2019.
>> In early March, INTERPOL conducted Operation Pangea, which covered 90 countries. 4.4 million units of illicit pharmaceuticals and 37,000 unauthorized and counterfeit medical devices (e.g., surgical masks, HIV self-testing kits and glucose monitoring) were seized globally.
>> In June, the long-known grandparent scheme reared its ugly head in New York and New Jersey: An estimated 100 seniors paid over $1 million to fraudsters claiming to be a loved one in need of emergency funds to pay for a hospital bill or bail.
>> In early July, the number of U.S. unemployment claims reached over 40 million workers, creating a perfect fraud storm for a government system not equipped to handle the numbers and a workforce on emotional edge and the brink of financial collapse.
>> This month, the Better Business Bureau provided holiday tips for protecting oneself from COVID-related scams that prey on shoppers seeking to attend pop-up holiday markets, with fake websites and Facebook pages collecting personally identifiable information, credit card information, and installing malware on your device.
Since we launched our blog in 2018, we have been writing on how we, as cyber investigators, integrate OSINT techniques into our fraud work. In 2018, we ran a series on how social media bots can steal identities and trademarked images. We also reviewed the JOBS Act and provided tips for investors interested in hedge fund crowdfunding opportunities. We issued a 5-part series on the most common types of financial fraud—Ponzi Schemes & Manipulation, Backdating Stocks, Insider Trading, Short Selling, and Pump and Dump Schemes—and how due diligence investigators can protect your company’s assets and investments by tracking down fraudsters. Our final post, “Rajat Gupta & the Beneficial Penny of Insider Trading,” explored the ins and outs of one of the largest fraud cases in SEC history.