Saturday, November 20

Catch them if you can; if not, file a 1099

Frank Abagnale, famously portrayed in Catch Me If You Can, has been a consultant and lecturer on fraud prevention ever since...well, you know. He's got a website where he sells products such as his $75 Document Verification & Currency Transaction Manual containing, among other things, "authentic full color specimens of all U.S. and Canadian driver's licenses and license plates".

Rob Rodin turned me on to a document Abagnale authored, sponsored by the Union Bank of California, imposingly titled Check Fraud, Identity Theft and Embezzlement. It's full of good, prosaic advice (interspersed with pitches for UCB services) on preventing the named frauds, such as to avoid using polymer film typewriter ribbon when writing manual checks — easily lifted by a forger with scotch tape.

Mostly prosaic advice, as I said. But there is one amusing suggestion:

If an embezzlement or check fraud loss does occur, whenever possible, file a 1099 on the perpetrators and let them deal with the IRS of the rest of their natural lives.

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