Northeast Wisconsin Financial Crimes Investigators: Safeguarding Our Finances

On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, Law enforcement agencies and local financials gathered to hear April DeValkenaere, White Collar Crime Certified Paralegal, Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office, present on Check washing, money mules and load fraud.

In an era where technology has made banking and financial transactions easier than ever, it has also opened the door to increasingly sophisticated forms of financial fraud.

Understanding these threats and the measures to counteract them is crucial for safeguarding our financial well-being. Let's explore the key concepts April DeValkenaere discussed in her presentation.

  1. Check Washing: Guarding Against a Stealthy Threat Check washing is a deceptive method used by fraudsters to change the appearance of physical checks, altering the payee's name, or the amount to their advantage. This act of forgery often goes unnoticed until it's too late, and the victim realizes their funds have been siphoned away.
  2. Money Mules: Unwitting Accomplices in Financial Crimes Money mules are individuals recruited by criminals to facilitate the movement of illicitly gained funds. These unsuspecting accomplices are often lured with the promise of easy money and are used to transfer stolen funds or launder money through their bank accounts. It's vital to be aware of the signs of recruitment and to avoid involvement in such illegal activities. To learn the red flags and how to protect yourself from becoming a money mule, check out this handy guide from the United States Postal Inspection Service.
  3. Loan Fraud: The Art of Deception in Borrowing Loan fraud encompasses various fraudulent activities related to the acquisition of loans. Perpetrators may submit false information on loan applications, impersonate others, or engage in identity theft to secure loans they have no intention of repaying. Understanding the red flags associated with loan fraud and verifying the authenticity of loan applicants are essential steps to mitigate this risk.

By staying informed and implementing security measures, we can all play a part in protecting our communities from white-collar crimes that can have far-reaching consequences.

Stay tuned for more blog posts about financial crimes and how to protect your finances. Together, we will strengthen our defenses to ensure a more secure financial future for our members and those who live in our communities.