Tag Archives: Fraud

March Networks introduces “world’s first” self-contained HDR surveillance camera for banking ATMs

Intelligent IP video solutions developer March Networks has introduced the MegaPX ATM camera. The MegaPX is believed to be the security sector’s first self-contained, covert IP camera with High Dynamic Range (HDR) image clarity.

Purpose-built for easy installation in leading ATMs, the camera captures highly-detailed video in all lighting conditions, enabling banking investigators and the police to clearly identify faces and other distinguishing features.

The new models are ONVIF Profile S compliant and can be deployed seamlessly to provide the high quality ATM video evidence many financial institutions are seeking to fill a gap in their complete banking surveillance solution.

March Networks' Mega PXATM camera

March Networks’ MegaPX ATM camera

“While ATM-related fraud incidents fell last year, related losses and losses through both skimming and ATM physical attacks have increased in Europe* so banking organisations are relying more heavily than ever on IP video technologies that can provide clear video evidence to accelerate investigations,” explained Net Payne, chief marketing officer at March Networks. “This new camera offers financial institutions a way of capturing better video at ATMs and advances an area of the banking surveillance ecosystem which, until now, has not kept pace with technology improvements.”

The MegaPX ATM camera combines HDR and “exceptional” low-light performance to capture clear video in high contrast lighting, such as the direct sunlight and near-dark conditions that ATM’s can be located in at different times of the day.

Available with a 2.8 mm standard lens or 3.7 mm pinhole lens, the camera’s wide field of view records ATM users from the waist up rather than just capturing faces to provide more comprehensive video evidence. In addition, an innovative feature auto-corrects images recorded behind the tinted glass enclosures present in many of today’s ATMs.

Distinct from other covert cameras with separate sensor units, the MegaPX ATM models combine all components in a single housing measuring just 2.2 x 2.3 x 2.7 inches (5.6 x 5.8 x 7 cm). This self-contained design speeds installation and eliminates typical cable wear and tear.

To prevent the cameras from shifting – a common issue caused by ATM doors being slammed during the daily cash vaulting process – the MegaPX ATM solution offers a choice of two mounting brackets that lock firmly into place. The robust locking mechanism ensures that the camera’s desired field of view is maintained and that images are not cut off or lost altogether.

Importantly, this feature saves financial institutions and their systems integrators valuable time and expense by eliminating continual service calls for onsite camera adjustments.

Making service calls even faster and more convenient, each MegaPX ATM camera is supplied with a unique QR code that technicians can scan with their mobile device using March Networks’ free GURU Smartphone Application. GURU automates typically time-consuming tasks such as determining a camera’s serial number, verifying its warranty status and completing online return forms.

The app also connects systems integrators with ‘How To’-style video tutorials, product manuals and convenient troubleshooting tools to help them work more efficiently and resolve camera issues onsite.

*Further information on the new MegaPX ATM cameras is available online at: www.marchnetworks.com.

*Source: EAST, European ATM Crime Report, April 2015

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March Networks delivers insights on “superior surveillance” in banking with video-driven business intelligence

March Networks, the global provider of intelligent IP video solutions, is helping banking organisations understand how they can use business intelligence drawn from video, analytics and transaction reporting to implement strategy, gain tactical and operational insight and facilitate effective decision-making. 

In a topical webinar, now available for replay on the Banking Technology website, Ely Maspero (March Networks’ IP video management solutions product manager) highlights the growing relevance and popularity of analytics and industry-oriented reporting tools. They’ve become so useful to banks, in fact, that an investment of just $1 in analytics resulted in an RoI of $13 in 2014, representing a growth rate of 18% since 2011[1].

Video and analytics are increasingly being used together, not only to provide data on specific ATM-related fraud, but also to deliver meaningful insights into bank branch performance and help improve customer relations, reduce waiting times and increase the effectiveness of in-branch marketing activities.

According to 61% of those individuals surveyed by Technology Business Research at the end of last year, the main driver of business intelligence software market growth is operational efficiency.

Ely Maspero of March Networks

Ely Maspero of March Networks

Financial institutions can be vulnerable to different types of fraud, from cash trapping and card skimming through to the more extreme use of explosives. While ATM fraud incidents fell by 26% last year, related losses did increase by 13%.

The combination of video and analytics can speed investigation times and identify at-risk ATMs to help reduce prevent fraud.

Video, analytics and transaction data

From a marketing perspective, video and analytics may be used to help banks maximise their up-selling and cross-selling opportunities by analysing staff and customer behaviour. Multiple banking departments can use the powerful combination across all aspects of client relations in order to help them move from a product-oriented business model to one that’s more customer-oriented.

“Today, most banks are using video surveillance to help reduce losses and better protect their customers’ assets,” said Ely Maspero, “but the combination of video, analytics and transaction data can target more than loss prevention. Video-driven business intelligence can provide banks with valuable information on the behaviours and habits of customers and staff, helping banks refine and improve their in-branch services.”

Talking specifically about the webinar, Maspero added: “This webcast highlights the many opportunities that today’s video analytics can provide, including the reduction of vulnerabilities and improving customer experience to help build brand loyalty and increase revenues.”

Reference

[1] Nucleus Search, September 2014

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City directors sentenced to 28 years behind bars for £23 million green biofuel fraud

Three men have been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court as a result of the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation and prosecution of Sustainable Growth Group (‘SGG’) including its subsidiary companies Sustainable AgroEnergy plc (‘SAE’) and Sustainable Wealth (UK) Investments Ltd (‘SWI’).

All three were convicted following a prosecution which focused on the selling and promotion of SAE investment products based on “green biofuel” Jatropha tree plantations in Cambodia. The green biofuel products were sold to UK investors who invested primarily via self-invested pension plans. These investors were deliberately misled into believing that SAE owned land in Cambodia, that the land was planted with Jatropha trees and that there was an insurance policy in place to protect investors if the crops failed.

*Gary Lloyd West (of Hertfordshire, the former director and chief commercial officer of SAE) was sentenced to a total of 13 years’ imprisonment
*James Brunel Whale (of Sussex, the former director, CEO and chairman of SGG) was sentenced to a total of nine years’ imprisonment
*Stuart John Stone (of Shropshire, director of SJ Stone Ltd, a sales agent of unregulated pension and investment products) was sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment

Both West and Whale have been disqualified from being directors for 15 years while Stone has been disqualified for ten years.

City directors have been sentenced to a combined total of 28 years in prison for a £23 million green biofuel fraud

City directors have been sentenced to a combined total of 28 years in prison for a £23 million green biofuel fraud

“Thickening quagmire of dishonesty”

When handing down sentencing, Judge Beddoe described the fraud as a “thickening quagmire of dishonesty” and that “there were more than 250 victims of relatively modest means, some of whom had lost all of their life savings and their homes.”

The Judge added that the bribery was an aggravating feature.

Jane de Lozey – the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) Head of Fraud – commented: “This is the first of a number of SFO cases to come to trial involving the miss-selling of investment products connected with self-invested pension plans in which savers on modest incomes have tried to invest for their retirement only to find themselves the victims of fraud. Pension scams can be difficult to detect even for experienced investors. The SFO is working closely with partner agencies across law enforcement to tackle this type of serious economic crime.”

Legal proceedings to establish compensation and confiscation orders against the three defendants have commenced.

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Two-thirds of UK companies fail to check employee references ahead of start dates

According to new research conducted by HireRight – the leading global due diligence organisation – most UK companies are failing to check references before new employees start in their roles and are struggling to respond to other companies’ reference requests.

The Point of Reference research suggests that two-thirds (66%) of new employees begin work before their reference checks are complete. Two-in-five (39%) of Human Resources (HR) function leaders believe this is normal practice within their industry.

However, such checks are absolutely vital. The HireRight study reveals that more than half (58%) of successful applications contain errors*. In tandem, one third (36%) of HR leaders admit they need a clearer way of identifying job candidates with malicious intent.

Steve Girdler, managing director (EMEA) at HireRight, explained: “References reveal important details about an individual’s history and help employers ensure they can trust the people they allow to work with their customers, clients and colleagues. By failing to carry out due diligence before people start work, companies risk hiring individuals unable to fulfil the duties of their respective roles, who may commit fraud or theft or even damage customer relationships.”

Steve Girdler: managing director (EMEA) at HireRight

Steve Girdler: managing director (EMEA) at HireRight

Girdler added: “A great deal of damage can be done between the moment an employee starts at a new company and when referencing requests are completed.”

‘Administrative burden’ on HR Departments

HireRight’s Point of Reference research results are based on the perspectives of senior HR leaders in some of the UK’s biggest companies. The results also highlight that reference checking is an administrative burden on many HR Departments at a time when they’re already struggling to find enough hours in the day for important strategic work.

One third (31%) of HR Departments are ‘bogged down’ with responding to queries about references. In a quarter (27%) of cases, employees have complained to their managers about the amount of time they spend working on such requests.

Many HR Departments simply don’t have the spare capacity when one third (34%) of their time is spent on administrative tasks. HR leaders themselves estimate they spend an average of two hours and 12 minutes every day on what might be described as ‘low value’ work.

This latest Point of Reference research is based on detailed interviews with 140 senior HR leaders in both regulated and non-regulated UK companies boasting more than 5,000 employees.

*The inaccuracies figure quoted is based on the analysis of data from candidate due diligence programmes, with this quarter’s findings focused on 121,000 checks of almost 34,000 applications between July and September 2014

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Security seminar to provide free advice for businesses in the South East

Empowering businesses to reduce their risk from crime is the aim of a popular annual event which is set to return to the South East of England next month.

Free to attend, the South East Business Crime Conference is taking place at Westminster’s Church House Conference Centre in central London on Thursday 27 November, giving businesses from across the region the opportunity to learn more about reducing their security risk while meeting security suppliers and experiencing live demonstrations of the latest security technology.

The event is due to be formally opened by a representative from the London Mayor’s Office with other speakers including:

• Crime reduction specialist Neil Henson, who will be speaking on the Anti-Social Behaviour and Policing Act 2014 and its implications for community safety
• Simon Letchford (of the Metropolitan Police Service), who will be speaking about the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime’s (MOPAC) Business Crime Strategy
• DS Chris Felton (from the City of London Police) who will be discussing cyber crime
• Ken Meanwell (representing the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Crime Prevention Initiatives programme), who’s set to talk about Community Safety Accreditation Schemes
• Event sponsor DISC will be speaking about Business Crime Reporting Systems

The South East Business Crime Conference attracted high level delegates for the 2013 event

The South East Business Crime Conference attracted high level delegates for the 2013 event

Kindly sponsored by both DISC and Facewatch, the event is organised by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) alongside the Metropolitan Police Service and neighbouring forces from Thames Valley, City of London, Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Essex.

Representatives from a range of business sectors

The event makes the move to central London in 2014 to enable easy access for delegates from across the South East region. Feedback from delegates attending last year’s event was positive, with 100% ending the day feeling better informed about the security marketplace and positive that the event had been of practical benefit to them.

Last year’s attendees included representatives from a range of business sectors and sizes in both the public and private sectors, including Waterstones, the University of Portsmouth and the Bank of England.

Alongside the informative conference programme at 2014’s event, a range of exhibitors will also be on hand to provide advice and guidance on the very latest in security services and technology solutions that can help businesses reduce crime.

James Kelly, CEO at the BSIA, commented: “With businesses facing a number of emerging threats such as cyber crime and fraud, the issue of business crime remains at the top of the corporate agenda. Working together with police forces and other local organisations can help organisations reduce the risk they face from crime and anti-social behaviour. Our event aims to bring together the South East business community to provide a wealth of expert advice and facilitate useful networking opportunities for business owners looking to source effective solutions to their security challenges.”

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

Register to attend

Those wishing to attend this year’s South East Business Crime Conference can register to attend by downloading a booking form from the BSIA’s website: http://www.bsia.co.uk/events/P22S11414451

Those wishing to exhibit at this year’s South East Business Crime Conference can also download a booking form from the BSIA’s website: http://bit.ly/1BzLA9J

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Cyber Streetwise survey reveals 75% of Britons place online safety at risk

A new survey conducted by Cyber Streetwise has revealed that most people are not taking the necessary steps to protect their identity online, with 75% of those who took part in the study admitting they don’t follow Best Practice to create complex passwords.

The figures have been released during Cyber Security Awareness Month to mark the launch of the latest phase of the UK Government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign. In partnership with the police service and industry experts, Cyber Streetwise aims to raise awareness of wise and unwise behaviour in the online space.

Despite 95% of Britons saying it’s their own responsibility to protect themselves online, two thirds are risking their safety by not using symbols in passwords. Nearly half (47%) exhibit other unsafe password habits such as using pet names or significant dates as their password.

Modern Slavery and Organised Crime Minister Karen Bradley MP explained: “When passwords are compromised, financial and banking details can be stolen and cause problems for the person affected, for businesses and for the economy. There’s an emotional impact caused by the loss of irreplaceable photos, videos and personal e-mails, but even worse these can be seized to extort money.”

Bradley added: “We can and must play a role in reducing our risk of falling victim to cyber crime. Most attacks can be prevented by taking some basic security steps, and I encourage everyone to do so.”

Vulnerability to ID theft, fraud and extortion

This latest research shows that 82% of people manage more online accounts that require a password than they did last year, with the average Briton dealing with 19. Over a third (35%) of those questioned admit that they do not create strong passwords because they struggle to recall them. However, poor passwords leave people vulnerable to identity theft, fraud and extortion.

Cyber crime presents a serious threat to the UK and the Government is taking action to increase public awareness of the risk, dedicating £860 million to this issue over the next five years through the National Cyber Security Programme. In essence, the Government is working hard to transform the UK’s response to cyber security.

The latest survey conducted by Cyber Streetwise has revealed that the majority of people are not taking necessary steps to protect their identity online

The latest survey conducted by Cyber Streetwise has revealed that the majority of people are not taking necessary steps to protect their identity online

Jamie Saunders – director of the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) National Cyber Crime Unit – commented: “The NCA is working closely with law enforcement colleagues all over the world to target and disrupt cyber criminals. We should be clear that the criminals will target weaknesses. On that basis, having weak passwords will leave people vulnerable.”

Saunders continued: “Nobody wants their personal financial details, business information or photographs to be stolen or held to ransom, so simple things like using three or more words, a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols and upper and lower case letters will make it much more difficult for hackers to access personal information.”

Creating strong and memorable passwords

Advice on creating strong and memorable passwords can be found at http://www.cyberstreetwise.com along with other easy tips for staying safe online. Tips for creating and remembering passwords include the following:

Loci method
Imagine a familiar scene and place each item that needs to be remembered in a particular location (ie a red rose on the table, a book on the chair, a poster on the wall). Imagine yourself looking around the room in a specific sequence. Re-imagine the scene and the location of each item when you need to remember

Acronyms
Use a phrase or a sentence and take the first letter from that sentence

Narrative methods
Remember a sequence of key words by creating a story and littering it with memorable details (for example, ‘The little girl wore a bright yellow hat as she walked down the narrow street…’)

Further information on Cyber Security Awareness Month is available at: http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/

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Financial Conduct Authority launches ‘Scamsmart’ campaign to combat investment fraud

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a national campaign entitled ‘Scamsmart’ which is designed to warn of the dangers concerning investment fraud and how potential scams might be spotted.

A massive £1.2 billion is lost to investment fraud in the UK every year, with the victims of this criminality losing £20,000 each on average. The fraudsters use a number of tactics to entice their victims into investing in products which don’t exist (for example land-banking schemes, carbon credits and rare earth metals).

The FCA believes that those most at risk of investment fraud are people in retirement who are actively seeking to find a good return on their savings. One consumer told the FCA that he was called out of the blue by a firm that offered to buy the shares he held in a company. The deal sounded legitimate and the website looked professional. It wasn’t until the individual concerned was asked to pay a £5,000 bond to enable the deal to go through that they became suspicious.

Investment scams generally involve high-pressured selling using boiler room tactics for products which often don't exist (including land-banking schemes, carbon credits and rare earth metals)

Investment scams generally involve high-pressured selling using boiler room tactics for products which often don’t exist (including land-banking schemes, carbon credits and rare earth metals)

Martin Wheatley, CEO of the FCA, commented: “Those operating investment scams use very sophisticated techniques to build trust and can dupe even experienced investors out of their savings. With large numbers of people at risk, it’s important to know how to spot the signs of a potential scam. We would caution against anyone taking a risk on a firm or individual who isn’t authorised by the FCA. Our message is simple: don’t accept a cold call.”

City of London Police Commander Steve Head, who is also the Police National Co-ordinator for Economic Crime, added: “For many years now, tackling investment fraud has been a major priority for the City of London Police. It’s a crime that hits older people hardest, with the victims losing money they’ve worked hard to save their whole lives and often destroys retirement plans.”

Head continued: “The City of London Police is fully supportive of the FCA’s campaign and backs its call for people to always hang up on cold callers. If anyone does fall victim to an investment fraud, it’s vital they report the matter to Action Fraud in order to give law enforcement the best chance of tracking down those responsible and dismantling their criminal operations”.

Key signs of a potential investment fraud

There are several key signs that an investment fraud might be in play. These are as follows:

*You are contacted unexpectedly about an investment opportunity through a cold call, e-mail or a follow-up call after receiving a promotional brochure out of the blue
*You’re pressured to invest in a time-limited offer (or example a bonus or discount is promised if you invest before a set date)
*The risks to your money are downplayed (for example you’re told that you will own assets you can sell yourself if the investment doesn’t work as expected or legal jargon is used to suggest the investment is very safe)
*The returns sound too good to be true (ie better interest rates are stated than those offered elsewhere)
*You are called repeatedly and kept on the phone for a long time
*You’re told that the offer is only available for a limited time or to a limited group of people

For further information visit the FCA’s Scamsmart website

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