The Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes part of Wisconsin, was recently the focus of a survey meant to gather information about fraud. The survey results showed that though there are several different tactics that individuals use to perpetrate fraud, the fraud appears to be under control.
However, just last month there were a dozen individuals across three states who were charged with fraud. This particular fraud scheme resulted in millions of dollars taken from large financial institutions.
The article discusses several types of fraud that are still prevalent:
- Forged signatures - this is where financial institutions are seeing highest financial loss; this accounts for the highest number of fraud attempts
- Check fraud - despite the decreasing use of checks, many banks are still finding that this is a problem
- Credit card fraud - merchants are dealing with this growing issue
When it comes to dealing with fraud, bank officials are finding that perpetrators are still relying on physical sources of information. In other words, fraud schemes are occurring because individuals are stealing credit cards and other personal documents. But the article notes that the other way fraud schemes come about is through the Internet. So much information is being stored online that fraudsters are finding information through cyber attacks.
As a result, many financial institutions are trying out new software to defend against cyber attacks. But many are finding that the security measures need to constantly be updated to keep up with individuals who are trying to hack into the system.
If law enforcement does catch an individual who is either attempting to steal information or has already, the penalties can be great. State and federal prosecutors are not afraid to aggressively pursue severe penalties for those who are facing charges of fraud.
Source: Star Tribune online, "In cyber age, forgery still a common fraud," Dan Browning, 24 April 2011