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Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog, was recently quoted in an article published in the Sun Sentinal, discussing the vulnerability of data as it is so accessible to anyone with access to the computer. Palm Beach County Health Department discovered that an employee had obtained and documented a list of patients, their social security numbers, prescriptions, and a number of other personal information to use in a variety of ID scams. This incident is just one example of the growing trend of obtaining data useful to fraud scams. The employee of this health department was since caught and terminated.

Fraud Expert Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog, was recently asked by a reporter why is it so tempting to steal “data-for-profit” scams. The reason can be summed up in 3-words – “DATA IS KING”.  Fraudsters will steal large amounts of data where ever they can get their hands on it and any business can be targeted. Institutions like banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, car dealerships, medical centers, hospitals, payroll companies, etc, can all be victimized by someone stealing data from the inside.

It is important that companies have strong internal fraud departments, as well as a “zero tolerance for fraud” policy. They must continually test their internal controls for vulnerability points and have a fraud hot-line number put in place to report fraud.

Fraudsters will take valuable data, like personal identification, social security numbers, etc. Then with that misappropriated data, they can commit many forms of fraud. For example, they can commit identity fraud, credit card fraud, medical billing fraud, DME fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, and even IRS Tax Refund fraud.

Even if the fraudster gets caught and goes to jail, the fraudster  can sell this same data to other fraudsters. In the world of fraud, DATA IS KING, says Linda Webb, the Fraud Dog.

View the article online at: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/health/fl-health-department-breach-20120803,0,7668933.story?page=1

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