The aim of the NEFF is to promote fraud awareness and successful fraud prevention strategies across both public and private sector regions.

NEFF 10 Point Plan to Combat Economic Crime

  1. Have in place an anti-fraud policy which is easy to understand and circulated amongst all employees of your organization. Maintain a momentum.
  2. Have a nominated individual or team within your organization who is responsible for all fraud issues. Risk management and investigations.
  3. Promote systems within your organization to detect fraud. Dip sample systems.
  4. Adopt appropriate controls and have in place a fraud response plan.
  5. Consider fraud as a business risk, take it seriously. Focus on prevention.
  6. Provide fraud awareness training for all ensuring an alertness to the indication of fraud.
  7. Install an effective ‘whistleblowing’ policy. Reward efficiency and reduction in losses.
  8. Don’t recruit fraudsters in the first place, know your customer/client/employee
  9. Involve and seek advice from your Economic Crime Unit right from the outset and/or detection of a fraud.
  10. Be Tough, punish offenders.

NEFF 10 Point Plan to Combat Identity Fraud

  1. Maintain a minimum of credit cards if possible.  Minimise the amount of information criminals can steal.
  2. Avoid carrying multiple credit cards, passport, birth certificate, drivers licence or national insurance number information together in the same wallet, purse or case.  Never leave them unattended.
  3. If when using any form of credit or debit card to purchase goods or a service, do not lose sight of the card.  Note how it is handled by staff and so avoid the possibility of it being copied.
  4. Keep a copy of all details of bank and credit card account numbers separate at home together with the telephone numbers of those respective financial fraud departments so that they can be contacted quickly should fraudulent transactions be identified.
  5. When creating PIN numbers for any credit facility system avoid the obvious such as those incorporating date of birth or home address number.
  6. Protect your PIN number, never reveal it to unwanted sources and always avoid the possibility of it being copied by persons for instance at cash machines or supermarket checkouts.
  7. Never throw away financial transaction slips of any kind.  Effectively destroy all financial information including old statements, cheque stubs and invoicing before disposal.
  8. Seek to remove all information from the held marketing lists of credit reference agencies such as Experian, Equifax and Callcredit.  This limits the number of credit offers received, having been delivered from other organisations that have purchased this information from those credit reference agencies.  The ditching of such offers into the dustbin could allow thieves a rich source of information.
  9. When using any internet facility ensure adequate protection facilities are used to prevent hacking of your computer.  Do not allow software to record passwords for future online usage.
  10. Avoid opening unsolicited and unrecognised e-mails and do not respond to online solicitations for personal information.

10 Point Plan To Help Combat Long Firm Fraud

What is Long Firm Fraud?

Long Firm Fraud is where trading companies are set up with the intention of purchasing goods either for re sale or distribution, these goods will never be paid for. The companies have no real assets, employ staff and usually trade from premises that have been obtained on a short term lease.

The company will usually trade for no more than a six month period and during that time will buy goods on credit which can be disposed of easily.

In order to obtain these goods, credit accounts are opened using references from both legitimate companies who have not yet realised that they are themselves going to become a victim and from associates of the criminals who have set up similar companies in other parts of the country.

This type of fraud can hit most businesses if they do not have necessary fraud checks in place.

What Are The Effects Of Long Firm Frauds?

The effects of a Long Firm Fraud were highlighted by a leading insurance company in a case study. In August 2002 a leather goods company sold two consignments of goods to a UK registered company trading from premises in Scotland. It is thought that the fraudsters obtained the suppliers details from a brochure obtained at a trade fair.

Following the opening of an account an order for goods totalling £9000 was dispatched, however no payment was received for the goods. Following the raiding of the company premises in Scotland by the Police it was discovered that the company had disappeared leaving behind a small amount of stock. The resulting financial loss led the supplier to experience cash flow problems with staff wages not being paid and the company loans going into default.

In the words of the company Director “It felt like I was living in a house of cards that was slowly collapsing piece by piece, and I could do nothing”. “Our business was facing closure, and with it the ruin of all our hopes and efforts. But more than anything, the frustration that the fraudsters could act with such impunity and get away with it, coupled with the shame of owing so much money to so many people was simply overwhelming”.

Long Firm Fraud 10 Point Plan

These are some checks that you should do before you authorise the opening of an account to help prevent you or your business becoming a victim of this crime.

  1. Always ask for trade references (the more the better) and always take them up in writing and verbally.
  2. Is the referee impartial?  Have they been used before?  It is helpful to keep a database of trade references used.
  3. Ask for original company headed notepaper, not copies.  Can they provide up-to-date accounts? If so, ask for them.
  4. Can they provide banking references, if so, take them up.  Check any VAT numbers provided.
  5. Credit check the names of company director’s for bankruptcy orders and CCJ’s.
  6. Confirm any telephone numbers provided, don’t accept mobile phone numbers for companies.
  7. Never accept handwritten orders of faxes.
  8. Don’t allow the delivery of goods to different addresses without checking them.
  9. Know your customer.  Are they who they say they are?  Ask for personal identification preferably with a photograph.
  10. How was your phone call answered?  Did they give a different company name?
Courtesy of DC Mark Woods – Northumbria Police Economic Crime Unit