Each week, ProfNet Connect – a community of professional communicators – spotlights a professional from their network of experts. Last week, Contego Services Group President Linda Webb received the honor for ProfNet’s “Interesting Expert of the Week, Fraud Edition.”
Maria Perez, Director of News Operations at ProfNet, asked Webb how “The Fraud Dog” became her nickname – “You have to be “tough as nails” to fight the fraudster,” explained Webb, “I’ve had a gun put to my head and a knife put to my throat in fighting criminals my whole life.” She goes on to explain that she has been fighting fraud all over the globe for over 30 years, and that, “People tell me I chase criminals like a dog with a bone. I don’t stop until I catch the fraudster.”
When asked what her most memorable fraud case was, the Fraud Dog cited her compassion for children and the elderly – “The faceless fraudster preys upon all ages, including the elderly and the young,” Webb says, “For teenagers, it is the Craigslist babysitting scam (reverse sell scam), and for the elderly, it’s viatical life insurance fraud.” Those who are familiar with the Fraud Dog often wonder how difficult it must be to be a woman leader in a male-dominated industry. “I would be the first to admit that being a woman in this [fraud investigation] field wasn’t easy when I first started,” admitted Webb, “but that is nothing compared to being face-to-face with a leader of an organized crime ring who has stolen millions from people due to fraud.” She asserts that she does not have time for fear, and that she wants her legacy to be stopping fraud around the world.
Webb also explains how we, as individuals, can protect ourselves from fraud, how fraud is affecting us as a society/nation, and the most rewarding and frustrating parts of her job. Perez wraps up the interview by inquiring about Buster, the Fraud Dog’s real dog:
Buster is a cutie. Can you tell us more her? What’s her role?
“Buster is my sidekick when fighting the fraudster out in the field. Buster’s amazing agility and Fraud Dog senses helps the Fraud Dog team in fighting fraud.
Buster also wants to teach children fraud awareness around the world. Buster will help kids understand that they can also be victims of fraud scams like cellphone texting, social-media fraud scams and Internets scams. Buster asks parents, families and communities to teach our kids to also become Fraud Dogs when they grow up.”