Combatting Fraud Together
A Summary of Teranet’s Market Insight Forum Virtual Session
Lenders and key stakeholders in the lending industry face increasing amounts of fraud and fraudsters that are constantly looking for new and smarter ways to take advantage of lending institutions and other Canadian borrowers. As fraud is top of mind for our customers, Teranet hosted a panel of lending industry experts to wrap up Fraud Prevention Month in March, who shared insights about the fraud trends they are seeing in the field. This panel featured:
- John Walker, Foreign Service National Investigator with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Wade Duxbury, Detective Constable with York Regional Police Organized Crime and Intelligence Services
- Ana Ialeggio, Senior Manager of Litigation and Special Investigations with MCAP
- Steve Low, Chief Executive Officer for Consolidated Recovery Group
The panel focused on topics in relation to organized crime, cross-border vehicle and mortgage fraud. The panelists shared fraud mitigation tips and offered their thoughts on how the lending industry can work together to combat fraud. Fraud is a growing concern to Canadian lenders and according to Ana Ialeggio, “forums like this is where partnerships are formed so that we can all work together because fraud is becoming a lucrative beast. Until we start seeing numbers that are publicized in Canada about how many billions of dollars are being lost to fraud, no one will pay attention”. Working with bailiffs on the civil side of things, Steve Low spoke about having less visibility into necessary information and that getting “more information upfront and flowing through the supply chain will help bailiffs and those working to recover vehicles on behalf of the lenders to detect fraud faster.”
Having experience as law enforcement officers and dealing with organized crime, Wade and John were able to share some stories from the field. As a Financial Crimes Investigator, Wade was a part of Project TAURO in 2020, which he discussed during our session: “Last year we were watching a particular organized group and I got a call from the CBSA that a Corvette was sitting in Halifax. After doing some checks the Corvette appeared clean, but we did a bit of digging and discovered that it was in fact fraudulently purchased. From this, the CBSA officer in Halifax did more digging and started to see this shipper send more cars, one thing led to another and we had the Italian authorities involved and started up Project TAURO to look into a number of vehicles that had been shipped abroad. Lucky enough there was a container ship passing through Italy so we were able to get the containers off. The Italians ended up pulling off 30 or 40 containers and when they were done we had over 28 cars recovered that had all been stolen. We were able to share this information with CBSA and intercept 10 more cars before they left Canada. In that one month, we saw over 38 cars that were fraudulently shipped out of Canada that we shipped back and returned to the rightful financial institutions.”
In many cases, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it easier for fraudsters to commit fraud, as many activities such as obtaining a mortgage or purchasing are shifting from in-person to online. As John mentioned, “it is a fraudster’s dream come true that they go into a dealership to claim a vehicle and have to wear a mask.” He also spoke about the increasing number of fraud cases at the border, which was an issue even before the COVID-19 pandemic, “we’ve found about 900 cars that were involved in fraud which we’ve placed that at a value of about $72 million. This is definitely an issue that needs greater attention.”
Overall, the main message our panelists delivered was that fraud is becoming more common and much more sophisticated; the only way that the lending industry will be able to combat fraud in the future is to work together and collaborate.
Teranet is committed to being a partner against fraud and will continue to host sessions focused on fraud in our industry. To make sure you’re invited to the next session, contact your dedicated account manager.