Playing it Safe
Last December, 211 football fans expected to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the visiting Dallas Cowboys. Most of them had a nice view of Raymond James Stadium—from the outside.
According to ABC Action News, two men drove to Tampa with a large stack of high quality, counterfeit tickets. Charging an average price of $100 per fraudulent ticket, the men managed to sell 211 of them until caught by two undercover police officers posing as fans in need of tickets. The men had possession of 14 tickets when discovered. The remaining 184 fake tickets were recovered in the Buccaneers ticket office.
Officials reported a few fans made it inside the stadium because ticket takers at a specific gate failed to scan the barcodes.
As a result of sophisticated technology and available resources, it is becoming increasingly easy for criminals to counterfeit documents that do not carry any anti-fraud protection. From event tickets to driver's licenses—nearly everything with inherent value is fair game.
Payment fraud is another area of growing concern. The 2011 AFP (Association for Finance Professionals) Payments Fraud and Control Survey showed 71 percent of the participating organizations experienced attempted or actual payments fraud in 2010. Checks by far were the primary payment form targeted by criminals. The survey found an astounding 93 percent of affected organizations reported their checks had been targeted. To provide some perspective, the percentages of organizations affected by alternate methods of payment fraud were:
• ACH debit (25 percent)
• Consumer credit/debit cards (23 percent)
• Corporate/commercial cards (15 percent)
• ACH credits (4 percent)
• Wire transfers (4 percent)
Every time a value document is counterfeited, printers and their clients lose money, and the counterfeiter stands to make lucrative profits by cheating the system. Fortunately, a multitude of security features are available to printers—often at the cost of only a fraction of a penny per document. To help customers sleep easy, printers must take full advantage of their options by developing a low-cost, high-value anti-counterfeiting strategy.