Chelsea Binns is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Security, Fire and Emergency Management at the world-famous John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Her first book, Fraud Hotlines: Design, Performance & Assessment, published by Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, will be released this October. She is a licensed Private Investigator and Certified Fraud Examiner, and serves on the board of the New York Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Her research interests are focused on corporate security matters, including background checks, corporate crime, cybercrime, investigations, and organizational fraud. She has been studying fraud hotlines since 2007. She has extensive corporate security, management and investigative experience, having worked for prestigious organizations such as Citibank, Morgan Stanley, New York City’s Department of Investigation (DOI) and the New York State Office of the Attorney General. At DOI, she received hotline calls from citizens concerning fraud, waste and abuse matters. Ms. Binns has a doctorate and two master’s degrees in Criminal Justice from the CUNY Graduate Center/John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
LIFARS: What is NYCFE and what is the organization’s mission?
Chelsea: The NYCFE is the New York Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). The ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. The ACFE grants the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential, which is highly recognized and respected in the industry. The ACFE’s mission is to reduce the incidence of fraud and white-collar crime and to assist its members in fraud detection and deterrence.
Our chapter advances ACFE’s mission on a local level, providing our NYC area members with superior networking and educational events, where they can earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. Each year, we hold an annual conference, where we feature excellent speakers on a variety of topics related to fraud prevention and detection. Attendees of our one-day conference this year will enjoy networking opportunities during our breakfast, lunch, and wine and cheese events. This year, we are also featuring representatives from the FBI who will be actively recruiting at our event! Attendees will additionally receive excellent training from eight highly-regarded professionals in their respective fields.
Attendees will receive 8 CPE credits.
LIFARS: What should the attendees of this year ‘s annual NYCFE Conference expect to learn?
Chelsea: This year’s theme is “Fraud Resilience: Getting Ahead of a Threat.” Attendees will receive a well-rounded anti-fraud education from a variety of prestigious experts. I provide speakers from various backgrounds in order to reflect the diverse fields represented by my audience. For instance, this year, our speakers include federal and state government leaders, a cybersecurity expert, a compliance professional from the financial industry, an investigative expert, an ACFE endowed professor of fraud examination, a partner in a global law firm, and a financial crime expert from a major consulting firm.
LIFARS: Is there a trending case of fraud that you experience in the industry? If so what are the trends?
Chelsea: Overall, today’s fraudsters are constantly evolving. They are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They are better at evading standard fraud detection tools. They are gaining access to more datasets due to The Internet of Things. Routine approaches to fraud detection and prevention must evolve along with the threat.
In the cyber world, the buzz word is cyber resilience, which includes a focus on prevention, yet emphasizes crisis response. I think fraud should be viewed under the same lens. A resilient organization keeps abreast of the trends, understands its own unique fraud risks, and implements preemptive fraud strategies.
LIFARS: What are the current measures you use to prevent and detect fraud in today’s cyber world?
Chelsea: I am very interested in the preventative aspect of fraud, especially as it relates to insiders. Insiders are a great threat to organizations.
In the government sector, insiders are an enormous risk. In this sector, half of all cybercrimes are perpetuated by employees. A recent LIFARS article discussed this issue. Here, we learned that government employers recognize the seriousness of the insider threat, finding that employees are their “biggest cybersecurity risk.”
To address these risks, I have advanced the use of background checks. In a recent article I wrote for Columbia Law School’s Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity, with colleague Robin J. Kempf, we discuss how the public sector can use background checks as a tool to fight cyber corruption.
LIFARS: Does NYCFE plan to teach their attendees the measures and tactics to detect fraud in today’s cyber world?
Chelsea: Yes. The NYCFE is excited to feature Ondrej Krehel, who is Digital Forensics Lead, CEO and Founder of LIFARS at our upcoming conference. His presentation is titled “The Era of Ransomware, Cyber Extortion and Nation State Attack.” In this session, he will be presenting real cases of cyber extortion on financial firms and high net worth individuals. He will also focus on nation state attacks from Asia. Many of these cases are currently under investigation by the FBI and Secret Service. Attendees will leave this session with knowledge of the tools and strategies needed for elevating their cyber resilience.
You can learn more and register for the 2017 NYCFE Conference here.