Newsletter

NEOACFE JUNE 2020 SPECIAL NEWSLETTER Print

President's Letter

Hello everyone,

I hope this message finds you all in good graces and spirits.

It seems like it’s been forever since February when we had our last training event. Much has taken place since then around the globe changing all of our lives almost instantaneously. 

Our chapter has explored many options and have had discussions on how we can continue to serve you best.

For the past few years, we’ve built our success on providing you the best training topics offered by leading experts in the field and doing so at a location that offers a change of scenery each time making things lively and entertaining all the while. We wish nothing less than to continue in that spirit and look forward to getting back to what we do best but when such a socially acceptable, safe, and healthy to do so.

Thus, at this time we’re remaining on pause. We’ve opted not to enter into the live-stream arena as there seems to be an overabundance of online training options available. Given the efforts and costs to enter such a realm combined with the limited or periodic use it would garner for training event purposes, such is not prudent at this juncture. We ultimately plan to hold more live in-person events in the future that gets us back to our niche. However, the option of live-streaming is not completely off the table as we may very well explore this and/or conducting other things such as podcasts in the future but more as an ala carte item than mainstay.  

Along with this newsletter, we’ve generated a new survey and will be coming to you soon. We ask that you take a few quick moments to complete the survey as your input and feedback are important. Each of your responses are read and considered in future decisions. Your feedback helps us to be better and provide you with what you need, expect, and deserve. This newest survey will be especially helpful as we explore your interest in future opportunities within the chapter. Thank you very much in advance for your attention and response to this.

Should anyone have any questions or are in need of assistance in finding online training events to meet your CPE needs, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’ll get back to you quickly with suggestions, ideas, or helpful guidance.

Thank you all for your continued support of our chapter and keeping us strong.

Be well. 

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Newsletter

COVID-19 FRAUDS

By Author: Frank A. Suponcic, CPA, CFE, CFF

Marcum LLP Partner – Valuation, Forensic & Litigation Services. May 1, 2020.

Headline: Fraudsters Can Follow Social Distancing and Stay at Home Orders – While Stealing Your Money

It is common for fraudsters to use the cover of disasters to exploit emotional, caring and vulnerable individuals through skillful deception and with criminal intent. A global health crisis like the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may not be a disaster resulting from a wildfire, hurricane, flood or tornado. But it is a crisis unlike any we have ever seen.  An unprecedented number of people are now at home day and night, working, learning, exercising and caring for family members. And during this time of stay-at-home orders and self-isolation, fraudsters are preying on you.

Typically, fraudsters target victims’ uncertainty, sadness, fear and desire to offer help—and many people are experiencing these emotions right now. The fraudster’s goal is to breach your sense of trust. And based on the volume of fraudulent incidents reported across the U.S. during the COVID-19 crisis, many of these fraudsters are finding success in their criminal pursuits. 

Current Scams to Be Aware Of:

  • Fraudulent emails (disguised as if they are coming from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)) seeking charitable donations to help find cures of, and vaccines for, COVID-19. In fact, the solicitor is not from the CDC; he/she is a scammer preying on your charitable emotions to make a monetary donation usually by credit or debit card.
  • Other unsolicited emails with links. Oftentimes, these links contain malware and viruses (electronic viruses, that is—not the coronavirus).
  • People offering fake cures for COVID-19 when, in fact, there currently is no cure or vaccine.
  • Telephone calls notifying you that you have been selected to receive a free COVID-19 test. The catch: In order to receive information on where to go, you must first provide (among other information) your date of birth, Social Security number and/or Medicare number.
  • Emails or telephone calls from fraudsters posing as IRS agents, Social Security officials or bank representatives. These scammers claim that the information on you they currently have on file is incorrect or incomplete, and they then ask you to confirm or provide personal information in order to process your CARES Act stimulus payment or SBA loan—or to continue your monthly Social Security benefits. In this scam, they also request your bank account information—presumably to deposit your funds. Do not give them this information!
  • COVID-19 testing offers. For a fee, payable immediately by debit or credit card, you will be notified of a fictitious COVID-19 testing site to visit at a specified time to receive your test.
  • In-person solicitations. Think door-to-door salesmen are obsolete? Guess again. There have been instances of individuals showing up at private residences offering COVID-19 self-test kits and even bogus vaccines at “reasonable prices,” payable by cash or credit/debit card.
  • Calls from fraudsters who ask you to “…keep this information a secret.”
  • Solicitations that will offer, for a fixed price, unlimited COVID-19 testing, as well as hospital and home care, if needed.
  •  
  • Fraud Prevention Tips:
    • If something looks too good to be true, it usually is. Social distance yourself from it—immediately!

     

    • If you don’t know who sent you the email, no matter how legitimate it looks, do not open it. Just delete it.  

     

    • If you think an email or telephone call is from a legitimate source, but you have no idea why they are emailing you, get a telephone number for them (not the one in the email or that they left) and inquire about the call or email you received.

     

    • Never divulge any personal identifying information such as your Social Security number or Medicare number to anyone you did not call or did not know was calling you. Just hang up. 
    • Currently, there is no home remedy, cure, or vaccine for COVID-19. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. 
    • Independently investigate any organizations soliciting a donation before giving them a penny. Make a charitable contribution on your terms, not theirs. 
    • If you want more information on COVID-19 or fraud prevention, or to file a complaint, please visit:

       

       

      • Federal Trade Commission
      •  
      • Remember, you should always notify your local police department or sheriff’s office if you think you may have been a victim of financial crime. You can also contact the Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721.

        Despite the massive interruption that COVID-19 has caused to so many of us, now is not the time to let your guard down to scammers seeking to take advantage of you, your generosity, and your desire to protect yourself and loved ones from the virus.

        Remember, we are all in this together. And as a part of being in this together, is our mission to try to protect you from criminals wanting to take advantage of you by stealing your money. 

        Frank’s Contact Information: 

        Frank A. Suponcic, CPA, CFE, CFF

        Marcum LLP Partner

        Phone: (440) 459-5700 

        email: [email protected]

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Conclusion

We would like to hear from you! Please fill out the NEOACFE Survey, as we continue to grow, your input is very important to our Chapter. Deadline is Monday, July 6th. Survey answers will be completed as anonymous.

Please log in to complete: https://acfeneo.org/survey.php?id=4

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Annual Dues

NEW FOR 2020

Annual Northeast Ohio 2020 Chapter Dues
(Dues run from January 1st - December 31st)

 

The annual cost is as follows:

Regular Membership $20.00
Active
Law Enforcement/Gov’t  $15.00
Students FREE

For groups of 5 or more from the same employer, firm, or agency, an additional 15% discount will apply. Please contact NEOACFE for more details and to register as a group.

All membership levels must register as such through our website unless otherwise specified. Please see below. 

Please Note: The Dues for the Northeast Ohio Chapter are NOT included in your annual Associate ACFE Membership Dues. Local Chapter membership is separate from the National ACFE. In order to receive the special rates offered by the Chapter, you must be a Chapter Member.

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Officers

President
John K. Heffner, CFE
CrossCountry Mortgage

Vice President
James Billman, CFE, CFI, LPC, PI
Veritas Solutions Group, LLC

Secretary
Allison Bores, MBA, CFE, CAMS
DOJ

Treasurer
Melissa Sui, CPA, CFE, CRMA, CGMA
NE Ohio Regional Sewer District

Directors
Ralph Barone, CFE, CAMS
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office

Directors
Allison Bores, MBA, CFE, CAMS
DOJ

Directors
Linda Chase, CPA, CFE
Baldwin Wallace University

Directors
Arvin Clar
Ohio Attorney General

Directors
Christine Meador, CFE
Medica, LLC

Directors
Adam Pajakowski

Directors
Michael Skrypek, CFE
Bluestone Research and Consulting

Directors
Frank Suponcic
Skoda Minotti

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