Tax Refund Fraud: Detection and Deterrence


Presented by: Mary Beth Guard and Brian Crow

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Start with identity theft. Add in circumvention of a financial institution's Customer Identification Program, a little creative writing, a bit of bogus math, some type of tax prep software and you have all the ingredients for one of the variations of tax refund fraud. In other cases, the taxpayer is legit and it's the tax preparer doing the stealing. In any event, the crime is lucrative and enormously appealing to today's criminal element. Factor in a lack of monitoring on the part of the financial institution into which the tax refunds are received and you have a recipe for huge paydays for the perpetrators of this time of scam.

A cynical employee may be tempted to say that tax return fraud is the federal government's problem. However, ultimately this type of crime affects us all, and FinCen has gone on record in recent guidance stating that any kind of financial fraud, including tax refund fraud, is the financial institution's problem, and that it has a responsibility to monitor for illegal activity and file Suspicious Activity Reports where warranted.

It is important for all associates charged with safeguarding their institution from fraud to know the anatomy of tax refund fraud schemes and how to identify their signature transactions. Failure to do so could result in an increase in compliance risk in the form of examiner criticism, financial risks from fraudulent accounts, and reputation risks as your institution's name is associated with the fraud scheme in the headlines of the local newspaper.

In this session, Mary Beth and Brian will help you mitigate these risks with the following topics:
  • Descriptions of common tax refund scams
  • How identity theft contributes to tax refund fraud
  • Red Flags indicating the potential for tax refund fraud
  • Regulatory guidance outlining expectations for detection and reporting
  • What to monitor - and how
  • Higher risk business lines
  • Customer Due Diligence strategies
  • NACHA rules governing ACH payments
  • E-filing and refund rules
  • Endorsement rules for tax refund checks
  • Refunds deposited to prepaid access cards
Who Should Attend:
Anyone in your institution who may come into contact with tax refunds including ACH Processors, Bookkeepers, BSA Officers, BSA Analysts, Tellers, Personal Bankers

About the Speakers: Mary Beth Guard currently serves as Executive Editor of, CEO of Glia Group, Inc. and Executive Editor of Since graduating from law school in 1980, Mary Beth has focused her work almost exclusively on the banking industry. Previously, Mary Beth served as EVP/General Counsel and COO for the Oklahoma Bankers Association, EVP of Specialized Services for Thomson Financial Publishing, and General Counsel for the Oklahoma State Banking Department. Mary Beth is on the advisory board for Bankers' Hotline. She has presented training programs for virtually every major national financial industry association, as well as more than a dozen state bankers associations and a host of other organizations. In addition, Mary Beth has written more than a thousand banking-related articles and is a BOL Guru.

Brian J. Crow is Operations Officer for Home State Bank, N.A. a community bank serving McHenry County, Illinois. He has managed the bank's consumer and commercial debit card programs since 2004. During this time he has streamlined the debit card dispute process and integrated it into the bank's Regulation E procedures. Brian is also dedicated to loss prevention and wrote the fraud detection rules that aid in the identification of compromised card activity. In addition to monitoring debit card activity, he reviews customer deposits in an effort to identify transactions relating to advance fee and Nigerian scams.

Brian began his banking career in 1993 at Merchants National Bank of Aurora, Illinois and has held the majority of the front line banking positions including Teller, Customer Service, Personal Banker, Supervisor, and Asst. Branch Manager. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theology from Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois (1998). Because of his education background, Brian has been given the unofficial title of "Security Evangelist." Combining his education and banking experience, Brian is able to relate to and support his customers while protecting the assets and interests of the bank.

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CD-ROM includes:
  • Complete presentation (including slides and audio)
  • Written Materials
  • Follow-up Q & A
You have the right under this license agreement for this CD-ROM to use this presentation on a single-workstation. Use on a network is in violation of the copyright agreements. CD may be used by multiple users at a given institution but may not be placed on a network or in any other multi-user environment.

This program was recorded in its entirety in February 2014. The CD-ROM includes program slides, materials (if available) and follow-up Q & A document.

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  • Model: cd_tax0214
  • Manufactured by: Glia Group, Inc.

This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 05 February, 2014.

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