Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: Falling prey to ID theft scam fuels fight for instructor to illumine illicit tactics, preach prevention, vindicate victims

The Skinny:

  • In this new initiative, ACFCS engages the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling, but demanding and ever changing, field.
  • We are asking minds across the spectrum and around the world of compliance officers, regulators and investigators to share some of their secrets to success.
  • Some of the questions: How can you take the first steps launching a career in the midst of a pandemic? And for those already working, how can you continue to develop professionally and take it to the next level?
  • For this tip, we get to see the world of financial crime through the lens of academia and the eyes of a victim, one who, after being scammed by an identity theft ring, has dedicated her life to learning about the tactics of these criminal groups – and protecting victims. 

By Brian Monroe
bmonroe@acfcs.org
April 13, 2021

With minor edits by ACFCS VP of Content, Brian Monroe

In this new initiative, ACFCS engages the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling but demanding and everchanging field.

We are asking minds across the spectrum and around the world of compliance officers, regulators and investigators to share some of their secrets to success.

Some of the questions: How can you take the first steps launching a career in the midst of a pandemic? And for those already working, how can you continue to develop professionally and take it to the next level?

For this tip, we get to see the world of financial crime through the lens of academia and the eyes of a victim, one who, after falling prey to an identity theft scheme, has dedicated her life to learning about the tactics of criminal groups – and protecting victims.

Name: Yumi Suzuki

Organization: Wichita State University

Title: Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Country: United States

What initially attracted you to the world of financial crime prevention? What keeps you here now?

I thought my educational training in criminal justice and violent victimization made me low risk for victimization.

When I fell victim to identity theft a few years ago, I was determined to study everything about this crime. Since then, I’ve dedicated myself to publishing meaningful articles for criminologists and professionals in the field.

With my computer science research partner, we are ready to send an article about prevention/mitigation techniques for phishing emails based on the situational crime prevention model.

That ID theft incident turned my career objective to a whole new level to dedicate my work to fraud victims.

How did you overcome the experience gap for those new to their industry, field or country?

I don’t have any investigative experience but have had frustrating experiences with law enforcement as a victim of ID theft.

I use this other side of the experience as a voice for victims who have very few support services compared to victims of personal crimes.

What’s your advice to someone just starting out in the industry and wondering how to chart their career path?

I think it’s important to know your calling and where you fit in professionally.

Financial crimes should be fought from many angles, particularly with the proliferation of technologies in recent years.

Collaboration among law enforcement, financial institutions, and researchers might accelerate the technological and data tools needed to prevent or intervene in evolving methods of fincrime.

Any advice or suggestions for job-seeking during the pandemic?

Regardless of the pandemic or other physical constraints, I highly recommend networking with other professionals by joining fincrime-focused professional associations.

These organizations often have mentoring programs where aspiring or early-career individuals get paired up with seasoned professionals for advice.

Some organizations have member-only discussion forums to exchange investigative tips, career advice, and industry-specific challenges.

You can assess from these discussion forums what skills are valued and required, what other experiences are beneficial, and where a fincrime career is heading (tech-savvy with proper certifications seems like a huge plus, granted one gets to use whatever the agency/organization has under its arsenal). 

Any other thoughts or guidance to share on getting started in fincrime careers?

I think it’s important to reflect on yourself to determine what you’re good at and what you’re not good at, along with where you want to go 5 or 10 years from now.

Also, ask yourself, in which are and to whom would I like to make an impact in fighting fincrime?

These fundamental questions should guide you to a more focused area of a fincrime career and the population with which you’d like to help.

I’d also like to encourage anyone who is considering fincrime careers to be bold and take risks.

If you’re considering a career switch to fincrime, do some research to find out if you’re a good fit and make a move! Don’t let the age or type of experience keep you from becoming a fincrime fighter. 

Get involved in sharing your career tips: How It Works

Each quarter, ACFCS is asking its members for advice on various aspects of fincrime careers, from getting your foot in the door to finding a mentor.

This quarter, we’re focused on guidance for launching a career – everything from what motivated you to seek out a role in fincrime prevention, to where you’re seeing hiring opportunities and more.

We’ll gather responses and share them back with our member community. Three participants will receive one year of complimentary ACFCS members (added to your existing membership for current members).

To learn more and submit your tips, click here