On Thursday, February 28, join Pace University and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) USA as they come together for Cybercrime in the World Today, a symposium with a focus on skimmer fraud, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in the Schimmel. The day’s participants come from a variety of backgrounds and include Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau and Investigative Division David Szuchman, and Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service New York Field Office Paul Mahon.
The term “cybercrime” often conjures up the image of a rogue hacker, hiding away behind a computer screen, attempting to crack the digital code that protects the Fort Knox of databases. But, the truth is we expose ourselves to the hazards of cybercrime each time we open our wallets.
Skimmer fraud, a crime responsible for billions of dollars in lost revenue and one of the major crimes being fought by federal and local law enforcement agencies, typically occurs during legitimate transactions. “Gone are the days when a bank robber needed to point a gun at a teller to steal money,” says Seidenberg Computer Information Systems Chair and computer forensics expert Darren Hayes, DPS. “Now the thieves can bilk millions from financial institutions using simple skimming devices.”
Theft of personal information happens through the copying of information on a credit card, the illegal installation of a “skimming” device, or “parasite” on a point-of-sale machine at stores or gas stations, or theft of bank information from overlay skimming devices at ATMs.
“We’re working on a survey of corporations, distributed through accounting firms, to make an assessment of companies that have been victims of skimmer fraud,” Hayes says. “Our goal is to quantify how big the problem is and ultimately provide guidance on how organizations can seek to mitigate these risks.”
Many agencies, says Hayes, talk about the issue of cybercrime, but they don’t break out the skimmer fraud piece and how important that is for overall evaluation. Hayes is collaborating with other researchers from Seidenberg and Lubin, who have partnered together to study skimmer fraud as part of the broad spectrum of cybercrime. Hayes and those involved with the upcoming symposium hope to provide advice to large companies who are seeking to re-evaluate their future business practices, as well as the individual credit or debit card user on how to mitigate the risks of skimmer fraud.