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Fraud, Scams and GRC

The landscape of fraud and scams are always changing and so should the methods to mitigate them.

Julian Hunn, the Global Head of financial crime compliance at the Flight Centre, has extensive experience in tacking these issues and will be the speaking at a GRC Institute event in Brisbane about the implications of the ACCC report and what can be done to mitigate the exposure to the business.

“I have been particularly interested in the theory of it for about 5 or 6 years,” he told the GRC Professional in a recent interview. “When I was working as a compliance manager for a financial services organisation we had about 1000 financial advisers and what I was trying to do was educate the financial advisers to educate their clients on what scams could be and what to look out for.”

For him, this means that the financial advisers would not only be delivering good quality products but also adding value in a different way by helping client’s protection themselves and recognise some of the tell-tale signs of an attempted fraud or scam.

This was in response to a lot of retail customers were being scammed and did have the knowledge or awareness to recognise these scams.

He will also be looking at the relationship between the fraud, scams and anti-money laundering.

“Certainly, what I have seen form a lot of people out in the market, is that they don’t truly understand how money laundering fits into that.”

ACCC Report

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report Targeting Scams 2017, which was released earlier this year highlighted that the combined amount of losses to fraud and scams in 2017 added up $340 million.

$90 million of that was reported to Scamwatch, which is an 8.8 per cent rise from the $83.6 million that was reported in 2016.

Investments scams are at the top of the list with about $65 million reported to Scamwatch and Acorn combined and with Dating and Romance scams a close second at about $42 million in losses.

The online-based method is the most common with about 68,000 reports which add up to almost $50 million in losses.

Hunn said that Investment fraud and dating and romance scams are two key types and of fraud and scams that he will be focussing in addition to other emerging themes from the ACCC report.

Kidnapping scams is another major types that Hunn will be addressing. Earlier this year, ABC News reported that these kidnapping scams that have been targeting Chinese and Taiwanese students have come to $2 million in losses.

Doctor Lennon Chang, a criminologist at Monash University, told ABC News that these types’ scams are quite prevalent back in China.

Outside of the ACCC report the Hunn indicated that he will also be looking at the MoneyGram and credit card fraud since these are some issues that impact Flight Centre directly.

This will then lead into a practical approach addressing key typologies and risk indicators that they use.

“We have about 17 000 to 20 000 transactions a week and we look at a number of those transactions and to see if they are fraudulent,” Hunn said and added that his presentation will go into a practical approach that they use in their own risk assessments.

*If you will be in Brisbane and are interested to attend this event to be held on the 24 July, please go to our events page to register.

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