Sunday December 21 , 2014

LossBusters Blog

Nuggets of wisdom from Libby
Tags >> Scams
Dec 13

Gift Card Fraud – Don’t Let “Cloning” Spoil Your Holiday Season

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Jul 18

Credit Card Skimming – A Business and Customer Nightmare

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“Hey man; how do like your job at that fast food place?”  “It’s alright.  It gives me a bit of cash for some bills, and I get to eat for half price.”  “So, do you work much in the drive-thru?”  “Yeah, I work the drive-thru cash quite a bit. Why do you ask?”  “Well, how would you like to make a LOT of easy money while you’re working the drive-thru?”  “Keep talking; I’m listening.”  “OK, here’s the deal.  I know these guys that will give you a credit card skimmer that fits in your pocket.  All you have to do is run a credit card through it at the same time you swipe a customer’s card as you ring up a sale.  You get to decide when you think it’s safe and won’t get caught.  You get paid $25 for every card you swipe in the skimmer.  What’s beautiful is that it doesn’t matter what kind of credit card it is.  You get paid for all of them.  You meet with me after your shift, give me the skimmer and I pay you for all the information you’ve swiped.  I’ll give you another empty skimmer and we do it all over again.  It’s that simple.  Are you in?”  “Oh yeah, I’m all in. Sounds great; let’s go!”

This conversation could possibly be taking place with your employees.  Credit card “skimming” fraud is epidemic in the QSR and Quick Casual restaurants as employees such as the one above are recruited or planted by organized crime rings.  The primary targets for the collusion are low wage employees that handle customer credit card transactions.  In this case, the fast food, drive thru cashier.  They handle a lot of credit card transactions in relative isolation.  The customer information captured on the portable skimming device is used to make fraudulent credit cards.  Customer identities are stolen to produce other fraudulent documents such as driver’s licenses and credit applications.  The result is often a trail of unhappy customers with credit messes to clean up, large amounts of stolen merchandise, and a public relations nightmare for the company.

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Jun 07

It’s counterfeit! Now what do we do? – Part 3

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The training of our employees in detecting counterfeit currency, or the device we use to authenticate currency, just paid off.  A counterfeit bill is detected!  So, what do we do now?  Do we confront the passer?  Refuse to accept it?  Call the police?  What’s the next step?

According to the Public Affairs Office of the Secret Service, $78.7 million in counterfeit currency was passed in the U.S. last year.  The threat to your business coming in contact with a counterfeit bill is high.  Using bill authenticators may be in your loss prevention strategy.   Training your employees on how to detect counterfeit, and what to do when it occurs is an essential element of loss prevention and cash management plans.  Good training will avoid losses and protect your employees, the business, and the Brand.

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May 21

Is it real or counterfeit? Part 2 – Detection devices

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Part 1 of “Is it real or counterfeit?” gave practical tips in teaching cashiers how to detect counterfeit currency.  Anti-counterfeit technology has been embedded in US currency.  Tips on detecting counterfeit refer to a few of these features.  The “feel” and “look” of the bill is a great start.  The printing on genuine bills will feel slightly raised and will appear clear and crisp.  The numerals in the bottom right corner will shift colors from black to green or copper to green when tilted back and forth.  Watermarks of the portrait images can be seen from both side of the bill. 

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May 10

Is it real or counterfeit? – Practical tips in detecting counterfeit currency

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“Good morning!  Thanks for calling XYZ Company; how may I help you?” 

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Dec 28

Wrestling with a Million Dollar Baby - Skimming

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The restaurant industry is rife with ways to lose profitability.  Just when you think you have things buttoned up, a new twist comes along that can threaten your business and you may not even know about it.  Last year the restaurant industry lost an estimated $200 million to a theft scheme called “skimming”.  The cashier or server is equipped with a portable electronic device commonly known as a “skimmer” that can be easily be hidden in a pants pocket.  When handling customer credit cards the employee swipes the card through the POS system to capture the sale and while still in possession of the customer’s card, swipes the card through the skimmer as well.  The customer’s information contained on the magnetic stripe on the back of the card is captured in the device.  The information is then typically sold or transferred to organized rings that produce counterfeit cards and rack up fraudulent charges.  

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Oct 19

Don’t wait ‘til Halloween for ghost hunting

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The assistant manager was in charge of inputting hours worked by employees into the back office system.  She was very diligent in making sure employees were paid accurately and that the employees were punching in and out correctly.  She applied correct discipline to those that forgot to punch in or out.  Her supervisor was proud of her that she took such care in the accuracy and discipline of their payroll.  He was so confident in her competency that he left it all in her hands.

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May 10

ATM Fraud Hits Close to Home

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It’s a crime that is reported almost daily.  Customer credit card information compromised, identities stolen, and economic crimes escalated.  A local news account of a man attaching a credit card skimming device to an ATM machine at a local bank caught my attention.  The same man was observed the next evening at another banking center and the suspicious behavior was reported by a bank customer when she noticed tape covering a security camera.   What made this a concern to me was it was my bank!  I have used that particular ATM several times.  I could easily have been a victim under the right circumstances, but luckily the timing was in my favor.

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Apr 19

Fraud – The More Things Change …

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It’s funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same. “Secrets of a former credit card thief”, by Michelle Crouch on CreditCards.com has many of the same principles as “Catch Me If You Can”, the story of Frank Abignal. Abignal’s book and movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio was a real life tale of crime involving fraudulent checks passed by Abignal and his ability to change identities and personas. He was chased by the FBI for years starting when Abignal was just a teenager. He was subsequently caught, convicted and forced to tell the secrets and provide the training to law enforcement to catch others. That relationship was pivotal in security changes within the banking industry.

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Apr 12

A great find…and loss

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He was a great find. An experienced fast food manager walked in and applied for an open shift manager position. He interviewed well and obviously had a great deal of experience. All of the favorable first impressions were verified with a phone call to a former district manager of the applicant, who gave a raving endorsement of his abilities, aptitudes and experience. “We hate to lose him” was the most memorable comment by the former supervisor.

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