The National Insurance Crime Bureau today released its first half 2012 questionable claims (QC) referral reason analysis. The report examines six referral reason categories of claims—property, casualty, commercial, workers’ compensation, vehicle and miscellaneous—for the first half of 2010, 2011 and 2012.Questionable claims are claims that NICB member insurance companies refer to NICB for closer review and investigation based on one or more indicators of possible fraud. A single claim may contain up to seven referral reasons.During the first half of 2010, a total of 46,766 QCs were referred. That number increased to 48,887 in the first half of 2011 and to 58,523 in the first half of 2012. There was a 20 percent increase in QCs during the first half of 2012 compared with 2011, and a 25 percent increase when compared with the first half of 2010.Suspicious theft/loss (non-vehicle) generated the largest increase in volume for a single referral reason in property QCs (5,255) and contributed to the property category’s 40 percent rise in QCs compared to the first half of 2011. The miscellaneous QC category posted the smallest increase—10 percent—compared with the first half of 2011.
NICB Names 10 Most-Stolen Vehicles for 2011Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released Hot Wheels − its list of the 10 most-stolen vehicles in the United States. The report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model and model year most reported stolen in 2011.
For 2011, the most-stolen vehicles* in the nation were:
1. 1994 Honda Accord
2. 1998 Honda Civic
3. 2006 Ford Pickup (Full Size)
4. 1991 Toyota Camry
5. 2000 Dodge Caravan
6. 1994 Acura Integra
7. 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
8. 2004 Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
9. 2002 Ford Explorer
10. 1994 Nissan Sentra
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics
Presents findings, for a five-year period from 2006 to 2010, on the characteristics of crime victimizations that went unreported to police, according to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey. The characteristics examined in this report include the type of crime, whether it involved a weapon or injury, the victim-offender relationship, and demographic characteristics of the victim. For each of the characteristics examined, the report also details victims’ rationale for not reporting to the police, including beliefs that the police would not or could not help, that the crime was not important enough to report, or fear of reprisal or getting the offender into trouble. The report also examines trends from 1994 to 2010 in the types of crime not reported to the police and the reasons victimizations went unreported.
Highlights include the following:
- From 1994 to 2010, the percentage of serious violent crime—rape or sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated assault—that was not reported to police declined from 50% to 42%.
- From 2006 to 2010, the highest percentages of unreported crime were among household theft (67%) and rape or sexual assault (65%) victimizations, while the lowest percentage was among motor vehicle theft (17%) victimizations.
- From 2006 to 2010, a greater percentage of victimizations perpetrated by someone the victim knew well (62%) went unreported to police, compared to victimizations committed by a stranger (51%).
New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Counternarcotics Assistance: U.S. Agencies Have Allotted Billions in Andean Countries, but DOD Should Improve Its Reporting of Results. GAO-12-824, July 10.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592244.pdf
2. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: More States Counting Third Party Maintenance of Effort Spending. GAO-12-929R, July 23.
Taking Charge: What to Do if Your Identity Is Stolen (PDF)
Source: Federal Trade Commission
Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission. It is a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation – and it can take time, money, and patience to resolve. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, prepared this guide to help you repair the damage that identity theft can cause, and reduce the risk of identity theft happening to you.
If you suspect that someone has stolen your identity, acting quickly is the best way to limit the damage. Setting things straight involves some work. This guide has tips, worksheets, blank forms, and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process. It covers:
- what identity theft victims must do immediately
- what problems may crop up
- how you can reduce your risk of identity theft
Measuring and Fingerprinting Click-Spam in Ad Networks
Source: Microsoft Research
Advertising plays a vital role in supporting free websites and smartphone apps. Click-spam, i.e., fraudulent or invalid clicks on online ads where the user has no actual interest in the advertiser’s site, results in advertising revenue being misappropriated by click-spammers. While ad networks take active measures to block click-spam today, the effectiveness of these measures is largely unknown. Moreover, advertisers and third parties have no way of independently estimating or defending against click-spam.
In this paper, we take the first systematic look at click-spam. We propose the first methodology for advertisers to independently measure click-spam rates on their ads. We also develop an automated methodology for ad networks to proactively detect different simultaneous click-spam attacks. We validate both methodologies using data from major ad networks. We then conduct a large-scale measurement study of click-spam across ten major ad networks and four types of ads. In the process, we identify and perform in-depth analysis on seven ongoing click-spam attacks not blocked by major ad networks at the time of this writing. Our findings highlight the severity of the click-spam problem, especially for mobile ads.
The LIBOR Scandal The Fix Is In—the Bank of England Did It!
Source: Levy Economics Institute at Bard College
As the results of the various official investigations spread, it becomes more and more apparent that a large majority of financial institutions engaged in fraudulent manipulation of the benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) to their own advantage, and that bank management and regulators were unable to effectively monitor the activity of institutions because they were too big to manage and too big to regulate. However, instead of drawing the obvious conclusion—that structural changes are needed to reduce banks to a size that can be effectively regulated, as proposed on numerous occasions by the Levy Economics Institute—discussion in the media and political circles has turned to whether the problem was the result of the failure of central bank officials and government regulators to respond to repeated suggestions of manipulation, and to stop the fraudulent behavior.
Just as the “hedging” losses at JPMorgan Chase have been characterized as the result of misbehavior on the part of some misguided individual traders, leaving top bank management without culpability, politicians and the media are now questioning whether government officials condoned, or even encouraged, manipulation of the LIBOR rate, virtually ignoring the banks’ blatant abuse of principles of good banking practice. Just as in the case of JPMorgan, the only response has been to remove the responsible individuals, rather than questioning the structure and size of the financial institutions that made managing and policing this activity so difficult. Again, the rotten apples have been removed without anyone noticing that it is the barrel that is the cause of the problem. But in the current scandal, the ad hominem culpability has been extended to central bank officials in the UK and the United States.
A Primer for Mental Health Practitioners Working With Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System (PDF)
Source: Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health
Many mental health practitioners were trained in programs or at a time when very little attention was paid during the course of training to youth involved in the juvenile justice system. For a variety of reasons, general clinical training does not ordinarily equip a mental health practitioner to operate within the juvenile justice context. Practitioners who have been trained within more recently developed programs with a “forensic” emphasis may be more familiar with adults within the criminal justice system than with juveniles, more focused upon technical assessments, such as competency to stand trial, than upon youth-specific developmental and functional assessments, or relatively unfamiliar with the emerging literature regarding youth with mental health needs who have had contact with the juvenile justice system or penetrated to its deeper end programs.
This paper provides an overview for mental health practitioners who provide professional services to youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system. This overview emphasizes emerging research and practices, the emerging conceptualization of trauma and its implications for youth involved with the juvenile justice system, and implications for policy and practice. While primarily intended for mental health professionals working within system of care communities or interested in developing a system of care collaboration in their area, this paper is relevant for any mental health practitioner providing professional services to youth involved or at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system. It is also relevant for juvenile court and juvenile justice professionals whose work brings them into contact with youth with significant mental health needs.
Source: Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has tips for anyone who may want to donate money to the victims and families of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting.
One opportunity for giving, the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, has been established by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and the Community First Foundation to meet immediate and long-term needs of victims and their families. Donations are being accepted through the Foundation’s GivingFirst.org program, which describes how various nonprofit organizations are offering direct support to those affected.
Unfortunately, legitimate charities face competition from fraudsters who either solicit for bogus charities or aren’t entirely honest about how a so-called charity will use your contribution. It’s wise to be wary of charities that spring up overnight in connection with current events, like the theater shooting.
Urgent appeals for aid that you get in person, by phone or mail, by e-mail, on websites, or on social networking sites may not be on the up-and-up. The agency’s Charity Checklist has tips for guidance on donating wisely.
Police-reported crime statistics, 2011
Source: Statistics Canada
The police-reported crime rate, which measures the overall volume of crime, continued its long-term downward trend in 2011, declining 6% from 2010. The Crime Severity Index, which measures the severity of crime, also fell 6%.
For decades, fraud information was difficult to find, as companies would shy away from the negative publicity associated with fraud (Albrecht and Schmoldt, 1988). As a result of SAS 99, auditors now consider and test for fraud; prior to SAS 99, the auditor’s obligation was to inform management if fraud was found during the ordinary course of the audit (AICPA, 2002). The use of non-financial performance measures can serve as a tool for fraud discovery (Brazel, Jones, and Zimbelman, 2009), which suggests that fraud scenarios are not always foretold by mere numbers or financial statistics alone. Much can be learned from a review of real world fraud cases.The analysis of fraud risk factors is a proactive audit tool in today’s environment. The current study used hindsight to analyze fraud risk factors from a convenience sample of one audit partner’s recollections of the financial institutional environment of credit unions. The first part of the study used content analysis to uncover emerging themes in a sort of ethnographic study of five fraud and five non-fraud stories pertaining to credit unions. Only after this part was completed was a more grounded audit tool utilized to expand the qualitative study. The tool was a published fraud risk assessment checklist that was applied to the fraud stories. The research question of interest in this study was how can the frequency and patterns of fraud risk factors tell us about the likelihood of fraud in the form of misappropriation of assets? Secondly, what lesson or moral of the story emerge that are relevant to auditors, management, and perpetrators?
Solving Sexual Assaults: Finding Answers Through Research (PDF)
Source: National Institute of Justice Journal
It has been a headline-making story for the past few years: thousands of sexual assault evidence kits — untested — in police storage. In a few jurisdictions, lawmakers have responded to the outcry from victims and victim advocates by mandating that kits in all alleged sexual assaults be DNA tested.
But what do we know, empirically, about the value of DNA testing large numbers of sexual assault kits (SAKs) that have long been held in police property rooms? And what do we know, empirically, about the crime-solving utility of testing kits in all alleged sexual assaults?
One thing we know is that the probative value of forensic evidence in any crime, including sexual assault, depends largely on the circumstances of the case — pivotal in one, less important in another. If the perpetrator is a stranger to the victim, a DNA profile can be crucial in identifying the suspect and adjudicating the case. However, at least half of sexual assault victims know the perpetrator’s identity; if he admits sexual contact but claims it was consensual, DNA evidence may be of questionable value in adjudicating the case — although it could have value in uncovering serial so-called “acquaintance” rapes. And, finally, when sexual assault is perpetrated on a child, DNA evidence is vital in determining that a crime occurred.
Full Text — Report of the Special Investigative Counsel Regarding the Actions of The Pennsylvania State University Related to the Child Sexual Abuse Committed by Gerald A. Sandusky
Source: Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, LLP (via Pennlive.com)
The most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims. As the Grand Jury similarly noted in its presentment, there was no "attempt to investigate, to identify Victim 2, or to protect that child or any others from similar conduct except as related to preventing its re-occirence on University property."
See also: Penn State issues statement on Freeh report (Penn State Live)
Source: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Pressing forward in its efforts to address a wide range of criminal risks, particularly in the residential real estate market, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today released its first targeted study analyzing reports indicating suspicious activities involving the Real Estate Title and Escrow Industry.
The study identified thousands of instances where financial institutions, particularly banks and Money Services Businesses (MSBs), filed suspicious activity reports (SARs) involving title and escrow companies, often in connection with mortgage fraud. FinCEN does not currently require title and escrow companies themselves to file SARs, but many have reported suspicious activities by annotating the Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business (FinCEN Form 8300) that they are required to file.
"This first baseline study will help inform our ongoing efforts to identify regulatory gaps that criminals look to take advantage of," said FinCEN Director James H. Freis, Jr. "We can now more efficiently and effectively address those gaps and mitigate those risks through public awareness, support to law enforcement, or appropriate regulatory action."
+ Full Report (PDF)
Source: Transportation Research Board
There are considerable environmental and public health benefits if people choose to walk, bicycle, or ride transit, instead of drive. Threats posed by possible criminal activity in a person’s home neighborhood can play a major role in their decision to drive, take transit, walk or ride a bicycle, even over short distances. The findings of Phase 2 of this research suggest that walking and bicycling trips–often shorter distance trips than auto or transit trips–are particularly sensitive to neighborhood crime levels. Transit trips, on the other hand, appear to respond to neighborhood crime levels in a similar way to auto trips, wherein high crime neighborhoods appear to encourage transit mode choice. However, follow-up analysis performed for Phase 2 found that (though based on a small sample size) transit access trips (walking, bicycling or driving to a transit station) are sensitive to neighborhood crimes as well, wherein high crime neighborhoods discourage walking and bicycling transit access trips and encourage driving.