Embezzlement is often associated with employees. At its most basic definition, embezzlement is when someone you’ve entrusted personal property to takes the property. This is most commonly associated with someone moving money from a business account into their own personal account. It can take time to find out that someone is embezzling, and it can take time to find the records. Embezzlers are often good at covering up their misappropriation. These thieves can be accountants who understand a business’s books, so it takes careful forensic audits to uncover the embezzlement.
Embezzlers are almost always trusted by their victims. You’ve probably run careful background checks on anyone who handles your money, or you may have entrusted property to a family member or close friend. It’s important to remember that this person took from you, and you are not to blame for the theft.
Intellectual Property Theft
Intellectual property is anything you or your business owns that is a result of creativity. It can be an invention, a document, or a trade secret. If you can apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property protection, then it is intellectual property. Paintings, sculptures, or other works of art are intellectual property. In addition, so are software, films, and any internal document, such as a training manual.
Intellectual property theft can take several forms. A person can take the original work, in the case of a work of art or other physical product. Someone may illegally copy and sell software your company creates. Selling trade secrets to a competitor is another form of intellectual property theft, as is publishing photographs that you don’t own the rights to publish. Regardless of the type of intellectual property or the method of theft, it is a crime. Forensic Brothers Investigative Services can help to gather the evidence of intellectual property theft and help mitigate your loss of income due to the theft.
Fraud happens when a person or company deceives someone else to gain money or some other advantage.
Corporate fraud is a type of business fraud that misrepresents information in order to increase profits or create another advantage. Most cases of corporate fraud are complex, but all are dishonest, unethical, and illegal. One example of corporate fraud is altering financial records to inflate the actual profit numbers. The perpetrator may do this to protect stock value or so the company looks better to potential buyers.
An employee or business owner may initially expect that the fraud is a one-time only adjustment, but if a business is in financial trouble, this may lead to bigger misrepresentations. Because corporate fraud is secretive and may only involve one person, it is often difficult to uncover until it’s much bigger, or until a company is sold. At that point, the new owners may discover inconsistencies in the financial information.
Financial Institution Fraud
When fraud involves a financial institution that is insured or regulated by the United States government, it is considered financial institution fraud. Financial institutions include banks, credit unions, or any other company that is in the business of handling financial transactions like deposits, investments, and loans.
There are several different types of financial institution fraud. These can include counterfeit negotiable instruments, loan or mortgage fraud, and others. Forensic Brothers Investigative Services can work with financial institutions to investigate a wide range of fraudulent activities and help find these criminals.
Individual Fraud and Swindles
When fraud involves theft from an individual rather than a business, that is called individual fraud. A swindle, similarly, is when someone deceives another person to take money or other possessions. While many people think frauds against businesses have a higher dollar value, individual fraud and swindles can cost others millions of dollars. The perpetrator may have targeted a wealthy victim, or they may have swindled many people for a large total sum of money. Regardless of the amount, individual fraud is still a crime, and the swindler deserves to be brought to justice. If you have been targeted by a swindler or other criminal, Forensic Brothers Investigative Services can help you gather the information, investigate the fraud, and find any evidence of wrongdoing.
Insurance fraud happens when a business or individual deceives an insurance company. This can happen if a policyholder files a false claim with their insurance company, or they exaggerate or inflate the value of assets or the extent of damage. This can be with home or business insurance, car insurance, or any other type of insurance company that pays out claims. As with other types of financial crimes, there are different types of insurance fraud.
Premium diversion means that someone, potentially an insurance agent, keeps policyholder premiums instead of turning them over to the insurance underwriter. A disaster fraud scheme includes the example where a policyholder files a false or exaggerated claim.
There are other ways insurance companies can be defrauded. As with any type of fraud, a thorough investigation is the best way to find the perpetrator and stop the crime.
Loan fraud is any type of deception while obtaining a loan from an individual or business, including a bank or mortgage lender. With loan fraud, sometimes the creditor – who is the bank or other financial institution – may use deceptive practices, but the person or business receiving the loan may be acting in a fraudulent manner. These cases usually involve false details and may include false identification cards or even stolen identities. This type of criminal may exaggerate their income in order to get a better loan, or they may give personal information to another person to commit fraud.
Another loan fraud scheme happens when a potential borrower applies for many loans in a matter of days with no intention of ever paying the loans back. Because it can take up to a month for loans to appear on a credit report, it’s too late once the first loan shows up there.
Business Email Compromise
Business email compromise (BEC) means that someone has sent an email that appears to be from a person or business you know, but it is from a criminal who wants information. We commonly call these scam emails, and scamming can take several forms. A common scam is to create a fake email account that is very similar to a legitimate company email. This fraud technique is called spoofing. Spear phishing scammers send messages to trick a victim into giving away information that should be confidential, such as access to a company account. A scammer may also use malware, which is software that can maliciously gain access to a computer or network. This can give the scammer access to confidential information, bank accounts, and more.
If you suspect that you or your business has been victimized by a BEC scheme, time is of the essence to attempt to reverse the wire transfer. Please refer to our blog post HERE in an effort to help mitigate this loss and seek prompt attention to your issue.