The GWA Board has approved the continuation of the Virtual Fraud Task Force, creating an official, standing committee, the GWA FraudWatch Committee. The FraudWatch committee has a long term mission to educate members by providing “Tips and Tools” for training and to alert members about potential scams as they are brought to our attention.
The committee is looking for a few members with a passion for FraudWatch. This committee will be limited to 10 members each with a renewable 1-year commitment. The Committee hopes to have 1 or 2 members from non-US locations Time commitment will (likely) include attendance on a quarterly conference call, assistance with sharing information to regional LMNs, as requested, and assistance with drafting membership correspondence.
If you are interested in giving some time toward this worthy cause, please contact Richard Meyers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips and Tools
For the first installment of Tips and Tools we’d like to call your attention to Re-Shipping Scams. Recently we have heard about a company that purchased a few virtual office plans in different locations. They then purchased high priced items on stolen credit. The items were shipped to the first address and then the client requested an overnight delivery to the next address, followed by the request on an additional priority delivery overseas. We can only presume these maneuvers were to avoid detection, but it left many holding the bag. GWA’s reminders are two-fold: 1) be very, very wary of reshipping packages, particularly overseas and 2) consider requiring your virtual clients to use their own accounts for shipping.
Additionally, we have heard of an instance of a Fax Scam related to the use of virtual offices. An individual signed up for a efax account with a provider using a local fax and telephone number to match his virtual office address area code. He then used the efax account to mass send faxes soliciting checks for an investment scam. The individual asked for a relatively small investment in cashier’s check form to be sent to his business address (the virtual office address) and promised extremely high returns. Suddenly the business center that provided the virtual office address received large amounts of individual envelopes addressed to the individual’s company (we are talking bags of mail here). The mail forwarding instructions required the center to forward all received envelopes daily to an address in Canada. Again – caution with international forwarding – this scam blew up quickly due to suspicion of large amounts of mail and potential victim’s complaints.
Announcing New FraudWatch email address
In order to better serve the GWA members with current information on Fraud related occurrences in our industry, we have set up an email address: FraudWatch@GlobalWorkspace.org. The FraudWatch committee asks each of your to share details of fraud or potential fraud through this email address. The committee will scan the information provided from these emails and disseminate the basic details to help our members be current and aware of potential fraud. The intent of this email is not to share specific data about individuals or companies but to alert members and their staff’s about potential problems to be on the lookout.
Display your FraudWatch logo!
Are you proudly displaying your FraudWatch logo; letting the world know that you will not tolerate fraudulent activity at your centers? If you don’t have the logo, it is available to all members who commit to the FraudWatch pledge. Simply contact Richard Meyers at the GWA office.