Using Low-Tech To Stop Hi-Tech Crime

To deter ID theft it is important for small businesses (especially) to be vigilant about who you sell to and/or give credit to. Giving it to the wrong person can mean you are “selling” a $5,000 car or $99 printer to someone who is NOT going to pay you! There’s a lot of technology you can implement but don’t forget about “low” tech things that only a human can implement.
In Kevin Mitnick’s book, “The Art of Intrusion”, he writes that he didn’t do many of his hacks through the power of computer, but through the power of low-tech talking and getting people to trust him.
Business Week writes that this is a KEY part of preventing hackers – don’t let them use “low tech” techniques to make you think they are who they are not. BE writes Trainer Debbie Morse is spending more time teaching new tellers how to keep their eyes open for fraudulent checks. She uses a handout from the Credit Union National Assn. that highlights tell-tale fraud signals, from unnaturally close digits to a lack of perforation on a check.
Typically a full day of a weeklong course is spent on such training, she says. “We did worry about this 15 years ago, but it wasn’t as pronounced,” Morse says. “Back then we worried about bank robbery.”
Numerica is also finding there’s strength in numbers. Its credit unions meet regularly with other financial institutions, retailers, and law enforcement authorities as part of the Spokane Bank Secrecy Officers group. Meeting topics range from the type of thefts taking place in the city to how to best support victims.
Group members fax and e-mail warnings to one another about detected scams; the alerts include anything from pictures of counterfeit checks to messages from phishers. “For financial institutions to share things is unusual, but this is an area where they share things openly,” says Patsy Gayda, director of branch operation at the Spokane Teachers Credit Union, a rival of Numerica.