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Fraud awareness training: Catch liars and keep your secrets safe

Some fundamental fraud awareness training can help in your everyday life: the next time someone’s talking about your information, watch their face.

We’ve looked at ways to combat electronic criminals, and while it’s true that cyber security is important, it’s also wise to stay alert when dealing with living, breathing people. There are many everyday situations in which your most personal information might be in the hands of a stranger, whether you’re making a purchase, confronting a possibly fraudulent employee or performing a bank transaction. In her book “Body Language Confidential,” author Traci Brown identifies many basic things you can do to check if someone is trying to scam you right in front of your face. 

Let’s start with the face. One key indicator is when a person rubs or scratches their face after being asked a question. This might seem like a fairly obvious giveaway, but you’ll be surprised how often you’ll see this little move in action. According to Brown, this is a physical reaction to lying, which raises the potential scammer’s blood pressure.

“When blood pressure increases, tiny facial capillaries dilate, causing [the liar] to itch,” Brown says. “When you see this, ask a few more probing questions to see if they frequently touch their face.” If they do, your antenna should go up alerting you to a possibly untrustworthy person.

Another sign is the covering of the mouth, which Brown says comes from a repressed desire to speak out. Fidgety hand gestures in general, especially around the face, are worth noting. 

It’s possible that an expert bluffer will know how to control this. But fraud awareness training tips like this can come in handy in unexpected ways – and you can see it in our media all the time. In the infamous Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah, for example, you can observe the cyclist early in the interview practically having to clasp his hands together to keep from touching his face. And just think how entertaining this bit of information will be as we watch politicians.

Of course, fraud awareness training is much bigger than just a few tics and hand movements. This is just a taste of  things worth keeping in mind when trying to determine if a person is trustworthy.

An expert in fraud awareness training can teach you other tricks that are just as applicable. Becoming an aware observer of humanity can be a vital tool both online and in person.

John Sileo is a fraud prevention expert and keynote speaker on fraud detection, data security and identity theft. His clients have included the Department of Defense, Pfizer, and Homeland Security. See his recent media appearances on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper and Fox Business.

Conference Preview: 'Thieves, Hackers, and Facebook Attackers'

February 26-28 will mark the presentation of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU)'s Technology and Security Conference in Austin, Texas. A keynote speech at the event entitled "Thieves, Hackers, and Facebook Attackers: Credit Union Privacy Survival in a Social World," will be given by fraud expert John Sileo. The talk will present credit unions with the knowledge they need to help stop fraud before it starts. 

Online security is more perilous and precious than ever. In times of constant attack, how will you keep your information safe?

Social media, data sharing and the wonders of the cloud all offer so many advantages to modern commerce that the myriad dangers often go unseen. Who has access to your data? What kind of habits are you enforcing? We live in a time where we are asked to scatter our personal information to the wind without a second thought – and we often do.

This presentation aims to help credit unions figure out what they're doing wrong and will teach them how to keep their enterprises afloat. Topics will include:

  • The hazards of social connectivity
  • The particular threats targeting credit union security
  • What steps you can take to combat them.

The talk will also focus on efficient methods of prevention, such as fraud awareness training and the use of proper tools and methods you may not even know exist. The NAFCU is right to recognize the importance of these issues. Enemies to your company are going to be crafty, but you can outwit them with the right preparation.

Many businesses are aware that threats are lurking, but are unsure where to begin to take action. This discussion will help point concerned parties in the right direction towards better cyber data security.

John Sileo is an online privacy expert and keynote speaker on social media privacy, identity theft and fraud. His clients included the Department of Defense, Pfizer, and Homeland Security. See his recent work on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper and Fox Business.

Protect yourself and your business from the dangers of malware

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How sure are you that your company’s computers aren’t being used against you for purposes of fraud and identity theft?

Recently, Bloomberg.com reported a case in which Microsoft and the antivirus company Symantec joined forces to take down a massive botnet group. Known as Bamital, this ill-intentioned family of bugs is believed to originate from somewhere in Eastern Europe, and operated by distributing malicious software to unsuspecting computers. Once the targets had been infected, the hackers on the other end could take control of Web browsers and drive them wherever they wanted, re-routing searches and addresses to dubious websites that could infect them further. 

According to the article, at least a quarter of a million computers were hit in this most recent attack. Globally, Bamital’s victims are reckoned to number in the millions.

Microsoft and Symantec were not only successful in rooting out the bots: they also turned the tables by using Bamital’s own methods against them redirecting users to special warning pages. They were given information about the virus and then guided through a clean-up process step-by-step. And Symantec says that they took care not to gain unauthorized access to their clients’ information by doing so. 

Malware and spyware are frustrating foes and they’re among the trickier types of identity theft to fight. Like real-world viruses, they can lie dormant for long periods of time without you knowing you’ve got them until they strike. The nastier specimens could track your keystrokes and record your passwords and PINs, dangerously compromising your online privacy. So what can you do to make sure your information and network are secure?

Fraud prevention can be an intensive process – but sometimes the solutions are right under your nose. Some of the best bets against the internet’s more insidious threats are common sense and fraud awareness training

Not all cyber security systems are created equal, so make sure yours is updated with the latest definitions and prepared to deal with serious problems.  Don’t click on suspicious email links, and be wary of any site that asks for your private information. Most importantly, be sure to scan your entire hard drive and back up your data regularly. 

John Sileo is an online privacy expert and keynote speaker on social media privacy, identity theft and fraud. His clients included the Department of Defense, Pfizer, and Homeland Security. See his recent work on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper and Fox Business.

Without fraud training, companies are guaranteed to go down for the count

Insider fraud struck again yesterday, this time resulting in charges being filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to the SEC, a former executive in the Stamford, Connecticut offices of a New York-based broker-dealer deceived clients when selling them mortgage-backed securities (MBS). He allegedly told them that his firm paid more for the MBS than it actually did, or made up a fictional seller and arranged supposed trades, when in reality he was selling out of his company’s own inventory at higher prices to bank a better profit.

In the SEC filing, the former exec was said to have swindled his clients and brought in nearly $3 million in additional profits. While the duplicitous activity went unnoticed for a time, his star rose within the company and so did his bonuses.

When news like this breaks, how long do you think it takes before other clients start to question the trustworthiness of the entire company? If one person was ripping people off, who is to say there aren’t more? Fraud awareness training is meant to prevent these situations from giving companies black eyes in very public ways.

And once that bell is rung, good luck trying to unring it. Now, rather than focusing on doing their jobs, everyone at that firm has to work double time to assure clients that they aren’t just like the guy who could be eating three squares a day behind bars for the next few decades.

Think of it like a bad food experience. If you got really sick after eating say, shrimp, you may end up feeling queasy every time you see or smell shrimp again. The same works in the business world, and the last thing you want is for people to get queasy when they hear your company’s name because of the actions of a deceptive employee – someone you thought you could trust.

John Sileo is a fraud detection and prevention expert and will be hosting a FREE Fraud Webinar on Thursday, January 31 at 2 p.m. EST.