FraudJournal Blog

February 16, 2010

The SEC Is Asking For Help… Your Help

Filed under: Fraud,Fraud Schemes — fraudjournal @ 3:34 AM

The past year has been filled with headlines of frauds that we used to only hear about in movies and crime novels. To consider that we would again be faced with such egregious schemes after Enron and WorldCom, and that our economy would teeter by the actions of predatory lending.

While most of us wait with bated breath on good news, there remains still, those that cannot seem to keep their hands out of our now thread bare pockets. And now the government, frustrated and embarrassed, is gearing up to stop the next train wreck from happening. How you might ask? By asking for help. That’s right – calling all insiders to take the torch of truth and shine a light on those that are committing fraud.

It’s an interesting approach to get to the bottom line of fraud, and a warning to the “Madoff’s” of the world. You can find the article at the link below.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/regulation/2010-01-13-sec-informants-fraud_N.htm

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February 7, 2010

Gel Pens – Once Touted To Fight Fraud…

Filed under: Fraud Alerts,Fraud Schemes — fraudjournal @ 2:33 AM
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Today during my daily review of emails and fraud awareness updates, I received an article from a fellow professional in the fight against fraud. To my surprise, a once touted fraud prevention tool, the Gel Pen, has now become a tool for embezzlement.

Let’s go back a few years. Remember the scare about “washed” checks because of ball-point pen ink? That was when the Gel Pen came into our lives. And now there are several kinds available for use. Some of you may know a version called the erasable pen. Many use them for crossword puzzles and balancing the checkbook. But it seems that not all Gel Pens are alike.

In Steve Pednault’s article, Still Writing Manual Checks? What Pens Do You Use?, he has discovered that the ink will disappear with heat leaving a now almost blank check to use. While I don’t believe in telling people how to steal or commit fraud. I think that awareness is key to making informed decisions. Here is the link to his article and an article he recommended about the Pilot Gel Pen. Read for yourself and think about what you are using at work and at home. Thanks Steve for your shared insight.

http://www.forensicaccountingservices.com/blog/2010/02/still-writing-manual-checks-what-pens-do-you-use/

http://www.pilotpen-store.com/product_list.asp?SKW=PILFRIGEL&HDR=FriXion


February 6, 2010

Scannable Signatures New In QuickBooks Pro 2010

Filed under: Fraud Alerts — fraudjournal @ 2:08 AM
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Today’s post is to alert everyone to a potential fraud risk created by the newest version of accounting software by INTUIT. QuickBooks Pro 2010 now has a feature to digitally scan signatures. “Let’s print checks!”

Each year, Forensic Accountants, Fraud Examiners and Law Enforcement find out the hard way about all those new bells and whistles the accounting and tax software companies offer. This year, it’s INTUIT’s new 2010 version of their well-known and well used QuickBooks accounting software. Most of the changes they  make are to allow customers to keep up with the trends and compliance requirements for tax and financial reporting. However, sometimes the changes are the result of customer complaints and wish-lists. Digital signatures are now part of the real estate and legal community. And so INTUIT has complied with the trends and wishes of customers. And just so you know, it is not the function that is the fraud risk, it is that it came without any security features.

My point? If you have purchased or are considering upgrading to the new 2010 version of QuickBooks software, please be forewarned that you will need to update your company policy to authorize who uses this feature, and the consequences for misconduct or fraud.

Oh…and help out the fraud community, PLEASE. When you have a moment; write and/or call INTUIT to ask that the signature feature contain some sort of security feature. I am sure they would love to hear from you!

February 3, 2010

Skimming at the Gas Pump

Filed under: Fraud Trends — fraudjournal @ 2:17 AM
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Steve Pednault of Forensic Accounting Services LLC in CT, stated in his blog that skimming at the gas pumps has increased. Most of us have become aware of attachments to ATMs that skim debit cards at banks, but fraudsters are now hitting the gas stations. For more details here is a link to Steve’s blog:

http://www.forensicaccountingservices.com/blog/2010/01/just-when-you-thought-it-was-safe-to-buy-gas/

Protect yourself by being informed and aware.

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