Episode 28: The Fraud Podcast

Episode 28 July 27, 2023 00:32:05
Episode 28: The Fraud Podcast
TradeSecurely
Episode 28: The Fraud Podcast

Jul 27 2023 | 00:32:05

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Show Notes

During challenging economic times fraud can become more prevalent. On this edition of the TradeSecurely podcast our guests have both have seen an increase in fraudulent claims in the last 2 years in their roles in the receivables insurance industry. Ana Beites is a Senior Debt Services Manager, Special Risks – Insurance & Trade Guarantees at EDC […]
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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 What's important to know here is there are scammers out there that abide by the container load show up with a credit card the credit card goes through. So the credit manager thinks everything's fine and they release the goods. And the next thing you know, couple weeks later, the bank has actually declined the transaction. So the vendor is left holding the bag. So it's something that can happen. It's something to be leery about, especially big transactions. So it, that all boils right back down to know who you're selling Speaker 1 00:00:34 Hard times in the Land of Plenty is a song I remember from the late eighties and it was the first thing I thought of when we started discussing a podcast on fraud. Because during challenging economic times, fraud can become more prevalent and there are a number of reasons for that. Number one, individuals and businesses facing financial difficulty can resort to fraud to alleviate financial burdens, weakened internal controls. As a result of cost cutting and reduced staff can open the door to fraudsters. Difficult Financial times can also lead to increased investment scams, targeting those, looking for a quick financial recovery. And then of course there's always cyber crime. So in this edition of the Trade Securely podcast, my guests are from the receivables insurance industry and they have both seen an increase in fraudulent claims in the last two years. My guests are Anna Betts. Is it Anna? It's Bates Speaker 2 00:01:33 Actually. Bates, Speaker 0 00:01:34 Yes. Speaker 1 00:01:35 Okay. Anna Bates, <laugh>. Sorry, I shoulda have asked you that. It's Speaker 2 00:01:37 Complicated. Portuguese. It's Speaker 1 00:01:39 Complicated. <laugh>. That's alright. I should have asked you that sooner. <laugh>, um, senior Debt Services Manager, special risks insurance and trade guarantees at E D C. And Michelle Davey is Principal Broker and president at Credit Assure. So thank you to both of you ladies for joining me on Trade Securely. 'cause I know from our previous talks, this is going to be a really interesting podcast. Speaker 0 00:02:01 Well, thank you Janet. Speaker 2 00:02:02 Thank you for having us, for sure. Speaker 1 00:02:04 Right. So I want listeners to understand the perspective that you are speaking from. So let's clarify. My understanding, Anna, is that you review claims on behalf of E D C, is that correct? Speaker 2 00:02:17 You are correct. I am a claims officer, so I process the claims, yes. Speaker 1 00:02:21 Okay. So you see a lot of crazy things, <laugh>. That's why we know all about all this. Yeah. Okay. For sure. Okay. And Michelle, your clients come to you as a broker of receivables insurance, right? So it's the impact of fraud on their businesses that you're seeing. Correct. Speaker 0 00:02:39 Exactly. And we get an awful lot of questions from people who are not insured yet that are interested in insuring. And so we have to demystify that, uh, that portion as well. Speaker 1 00:02:51 Okay, fair enough. So I'd like to start with asking both of you a really quick overview of how you've seen an increase in fraud activity in the claims your clients are submitting. And I'm assuming that it's probably, um, a covid related thing, you know, like prior to Covid, maybe not so much and maybe now, but you can clarify that. And Anna, I'm gonna start with you Speaker 2 00:03:13 For sure. So I've been working, uh, in the claims department at E D C for, oh, I think over 12 years now. My goodness. Time flies. Um, and we are definitely noticing an increase in the number of claim files submitted that contain elements of fraud. So in the past two years, uh, we have seen probably 30 to 40 cases, whereas in the last 10 years, I don't really recall very many. They were very rare and one-off very isolated type of events. So I can definitely say that fraud is becoming widespread and this really is of concern. Speaker 1 00:03:46 Okay. And Michelle, what type of fraud activities are your receivables insurance clients seeing? Speaker 0 00:03:53 Well, there's a number of things, um, you know, from, from things that would relate more to cyber. Um, but we're seeing credit card, uh, type scams. We're seeing buyer scams where, where people are pretending to be someone they, they were not. Um, so we're seeing a lot of that type of activity. Speaker 1 00:04:14 Okay. So let's, let's dig into some of the questions I wanna ask you, Anna. Why do you think fraud is increasing in the claims that E D C is assessing? You must have a a variety of ideas. Let's hear them. Yeah, Speaker 2 00:04:26 I mean, I think in general the world is seeing more fraud, you know, and, and fraud is really, um, evolving. It makes use of lots of technological tools. And I think commercial transactions too are becoming like more electronic and digital. I mean, you just need to turn on the news and you see, you're always hearing about large cases of hacking ransomware attacks, you know, like Petro Canada recently, indigo, you, Quebec, they all come to mind. And I don't think EDC and E D C is definitely not immune to this, right? We, we operate in this global ecosystem, right? I also think the global pandemic, um, created chaos and maybe financial hardship for many. And perhaps this motivates frauds maybe to profit from gaps like in government support programs, systems, et cetera. And I, the growth of e-commerce is just amazing, right? It's really accelerated in the last years. Like banking payments, all that stuff is exclusively digital and electronic now. There's so many new digital marketplace, uh, platforms. So I think these technological advancements are growing really, really quickly that the security measures don't, uh, don't grow with them and they're not keeping up in protecting the information systems and, and sophisticated frauds are, are, are definitely taking advantage of this. Speaker 1 00:05:40 Okay. So what, what concerns you the most about the fraud, fraud that you are seeing? The Speaker 2 00:05:44 Fraud that I'm seeing, uh, in the 30 to 40 files? Well, I wanna say the sophistication of the fraud tactics. Like, it's very difficult to, to detect fraud and its impact on E D C, right? Like, we have a public mandate to support exporters who have legitimate transactions. We certainly don't wanna be supporting criminal activity and fraud. I mean, this is against our E E SS G principles. You know, when we really put our E S G principles at the heart of everything we do, it's very important to us. Um, but in these, in years, I, I wanna say that we have been, um, taking measures and we've been working very hard to put in place risk assessment tools to detect financial crimes. And not only in, uh, accounts receivable insurance, but, uh, many other of our businesses. Um, in my daily work life as a claims officer at D D C, uh, I'm mostly concerned for the policy holders. Speaker 2 00:06:32 Our exporters, um, for the most part, they are the innocent victims of fraud and they come to E D C for help. However, in general, um, fraud is not a covered risk, um, in our policies, even if it results in a loss involving an unpaid accounts receivable. So the E D C policy never intended to cover such scenarios where the loss is the result of fraud. And I don't think that, uh, private sector accounts receivable insurance covers this, this, this type of event either. I mean, I think there are other types of commercial insurance that, that would cover these scenarios. And, and Michelle would probably, uh, know more that, uh, more about that, more about that than me. Um, Michelle, I don't, are there other types of insurance that would protect against Speaker 0 00:07:14 Fraud? Well, I, I specialize in trade credit, so I'm not very well versed in all of the other insurance products, but I do believe a good cyber insurance policy can certainly benefit. Speaker 2 00:07:23 Yeah, I've heard of that for sure. Yeah. Yeah. And I, and they're made in be, um, corporate crime insurance maybe as part of other liability insurance I've heard, but Speaker 0 00:07:32 I, I'm, I'm under the impression that a, a crimes policy is to prevent fraud within the company. Oh, Speaker 2 00:07:39 I see. Speaker 0 00:07:40 Um, but exactly, I, I'm not well versed. So unfortunately I can't speak to that, but, uh, yeah, Speaker 2 00:07:47 But right. So, but what I do know though is that it's very frustrating for the exporters for sure when they realize that our e d c insurance policy can't help them when they are the innocent victims of fraud. So it's very frustrating for me as a claims officer. I'm here to pay claims and certainly very frustrating for our exporters. Speaker 1 00:08:05 Okay. So I wanna ask Michelle a question here, because, uh, Anna, you are talking about exporters. Michelle, are you seeing fraud activities, uh, for people who are d doing business within Canada with, uh, clients in Canada? Speaker 0 00:08:21 Absolutely. We're seeing, we're seeing it on the export side as well, but we're seeing it in the domestic, uh, forum as well. Uh, um, and you know, it, it's, it's not just as of a couple of years ago, this has been going on, on and off. Uh, yes, we were seeing less of it. We're seeing more of it now. Uh, but, uh, you know, I, I've seen a, a scenario where a company, uh, selling to Ontario, uh, there were three companies with a similar name, and they were all owned by the same people at the same address. Um, so my policy holder was invoicing the wrong buyer. So unfortunately, um, you know, initially, uh, the claims department had said, no, this is not covered. But, uh, we had protected the claim and they went and sued, they won, they got a judgment in their favor, and then we went back to the insurer and the insurer paid out. Um, but, you know, you have three company names that are extremely similar that are using all the same global name and Right. It makes it hard for that policy holder to know who he is he's actually selling to. And Speaker 1 00:09:34 What were the, were the companies actually all three of them real? Speaker 0 00:09:37 Yep. Okay. They were all three real. Speaker 1 00:09:40 Okay. Speaker 0 00:09:40 So, and, and in that case it was a, a non-payment situation and, you know, the buyer eventually had to pay, um, and uh, uh, but he, he ended up having to pay the insurance company because the insurance company went after it now that they had a judgment. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:09:56 Uh, you know, okay. So I would that actually be fraud? Speaker 0 00:10:03 Hmm. You know, it, it's funny because the whole thing stemmed around who are we invoicing, Speaker 1 00:10:11 Right? And so that goes, that goes to something that every time I talk to you in a podcast, you always say, know your buyer <laugh>. Right? Speaker 2 00:10:21 So important for sure. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:10:23 Know Speaker 0 00:10:23 Who you're dealing with. Absolutely. That, that is so important. Um, you know, there's so many things that we're seeing these days, and I know Anna has a whole lot to say on this, but, uh, <laugh>, yes, we, yeah, you do. Um, but there's trade shows that people go to and they come back with a handwritten order that they took at that show, and they're all excited, and so they're ready to ship and, you know, but they, they think it's a real company and it's not necessarily real Speaker 1 00:10:54 Company. Right. Speaker 0 00:10:56 You know, so, Speaker 1 00:10:56 So you really have to do your investigating, right? So, oh, for sure. Yeah. So, um, I wanna ask you, Anna, what kind of fraud scenarios are you seeing? What are your learnings that you can share with, with policy holders at this point in time? Speaker 2 00:11:11 Absolutely. Um, there are predominantly three scenarios that we keep seeing over and over again. The first one, uh, is insurance fraud. Um, this is where our policy holders are intentionally misrepresenting, um, to benefit from a claim payment. Uh, the second type of fraud that's very common is business email compromise. And then we see a lot of corporate identity fraud. So all the claim files that we've seen with fraud elements all pertain to these three things. Speaker 1 00:11:40 Okay. So I wanna just go back to what Michelle was just talking on the first one you said there, insurance fraud, where the policy holders are intentionally misrepresenting to benefit from a claim payment. So is it likely, Michelle, that when you tried to have a claim for that customer who had the invoice and the three different companies and was trying to bill one and whatever, is it maybe the, the insurance company or insurance provider was going, are you guys trying to pull a fast one on us and they were kind of investigating to see it just as insurance fraud? No, Speaker 0 00:12:15 No. In this case it was not at all that, um, the policy holder was, you know, a straight shooter and still is. Um, and it's got nothing to do with that. It, it's really, um, a matter of, well, you know, if you're insuring, we'll, we'll go with cars. If you're insuring a Volvo and you're insuring a Corvette, they're two different cars. So you know if Speaker 1 00:12:41 Oh, yeah, okay, Speaker 0 00:12:42 Two, then, you know, who are they pursuing? Um, so it's really along those lines. It, it has nothing to do with, uh, the ill will of the policy holder in this case. Speaker 1 00:12:52 Okay. Perfect. Perfect. Okay. So Anna, let's go back to what you actually mean Speaker 2 00:12:58 Insurance fraud. <laugh>, I mean, PO policy holders who have ill will, unfortunately, so they're falsifying commercial documentation or misrepresenting details of a transaction to make it fit in the particular coverage, or just blatantly creating fictitious transactions. They can be in collusion with the buyer. The buyer could be fictitious. There's so many different, um, permutations and scenarios, you know, and it's really difficult to spot, obviously. But, um, I think that we're getting better at it. The more cases that we see, um, we have learnings, right? So we've kind of created a system of red flags when, when we assess claims, and I won't describe them for you in case the fraudsters are actually listening. I don't wanna give them any ideas. It's already hard to detect this stuff. Um, yeah, suffice to say that, you know, I think valid objective commercial documentation is really key when it comes to getting claims paid. Speaker 2 00:13:52 Um, and now we ask for much more information just to feel comfortable with the transaction, just to make sure it's legitimate. For example, um, where did this document come from? It's provenance. Like if you send me a P D F, if a claim or an exporter sends me a P D F, I don't wanna think, oh, did you make this up? Like, how did you get it? Show me that the buyer gave this to you. So more than ever now, I think exporters need to make sure that they, uh, have kept, kept an adequate paper trail, and obviously it's not paper anymore. Um, electronic trail, so to speak, when they claim to E D C. So fraud has necessarily increased the need, I think, for adequate documentation and documentation really, that can be validated objectively that I can confirm. Yeah, this is authentic, this is real, this is original, uh, unfor, and I think Michelle had an example of this, right? If you transact over the phone or you write orders on a paper, and applicant's, unfortunately, like it'll be difficult for e D C to pay you a claim because there's no way of validating that the transaction is really legitimate. There's no paper trail. Speaker 1 00:14:49 Right. Okay. So, and I don't wanna dig too deeply into this, but let's talk a little bit, uh, very briefly about, you know, what are the penalties and implications if you do try to get, if you do try to pull this off and you get caught, like what can happen, um, <laugh> from EDCs perspective to Well, Speaker 2 00:15:07 Yeah. At edc, definitely you're not gonna get your claim paid because we are not in the habit of, you know, paying out fraudulent transactions. Yeah. Also, we will most likely cancel your policy because we are zero, like, we have zero tolerance for this kind of a fraud and crime. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and another thing we made in report, um, the transaction to the appropriate authorities. Yeah. So a host of actions that we can take, like we take it very seriously. It's, it's something that we can, we can, we don't condone for sure. Speaker 0 00:15:35 Okay. Fraud is a, a criminal offense. Uh, Janet, so yes, Speaker 1 00:15:39 I knew that, but I just didn't know what, what the implications would be if you did try to pull it off, you got caught. I mean, does it actually get filed, um, so that people know it's a criminal offense? So, okay. It could potentially, yeah, you could. Okay. So you spoke of business email compromise. Now I have a pretty good idea of what you mean here, but what are the scenarios around this exactly? Speaker 2 00:16:00 I'm gonna give you an example. So our ex, and it's always this same scenario that happens. So our exporters make a sale, and then at some point in the transaction, their client, so the buyer in this case gets an email that the banking information has changed. So the client dutifully follows the instructions they've received, thinking has come from the exporter, and then they send the money to the new bank account because they've received new banking information. But what has really transpired is that a third party has gained access to either the information system of the exporter or the client, and became aware that a payment was going to be made and kind of intercepted it. So unfortunately in general, like the buyer does not want to pay again or does not have the cash flow to pay again. And exporters unfortunately end up with an unpaid receivable and a receivable that is not claimable because we do not know who is responsible for the loss. And the result, again, is a loss of like hacking or fraud. So it's just very frustrating the here in this, in these scenarios, the buyer has the, the will to pay. They want to pay our exporters, but they pay into a wrong bank account. Speaker 1 00:17:06 So they, okay, so yeah, sorry, go ahead. They've Speaker 2 00:17:09 Both been, they can both be the victims of fraud. Like it could be the exporter systems that have been hacked can be the buyer's, um, systems that are hacked. It's very difficult. This is very complicated to determine who, whose system was hacked and where the fraud originated. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:17:22 We're hearing more and more about these things actually, Janet. And you know, I, I've had a couple of, uh, clients call me and say some that are e D C policies, uh, as well, and they're saying, uh, the president's email was, uh, hijacked and, uh, uh, we've paid out seven figures. Oh, so can you help us, uh, get the bank of Hong Kong out in China to stop the transaction? So yeah, it's a very scary thought. Now, um, I, I do have some advice for people going through these types of things. Um, your cyber policy should, uh, be able to help you out with that, uh, the, the insurer on that end. That's not our realm of things, but, um, you know, when I heard that, that was my first reaction, speak to your, your, your cyber broker and get them to, uh, get you some, some contact information of, of the people that, uh, and unfortunately that didn't happen. Speaker 0 00:18:19 Um, so there are other companies out there that do take care of these things. And I had a conversation with, uh, a gentleman by the name of Kevin Vincent at Cyber Catch, uh, a couple of weeks ago. And they take care of all of these types of things, including, um, negotiating with, uh, ransomware, uh, thieves, <laugh>. Oh, very. So, um, so there, there are possibilities out there. I'm not well versed in all types of insurance, but I, I can say that, um, if you do have a cyber policy, there are immense resources. And, and I would go back to that. Speaker 1 00:18:54 Okay. So, um, from your perspective, Anna, what would be your advice to avoid a scenario like this? Speaker 2 00:19:01 I would say like, make it a practice to never accept a change of banking instructions via email. So it's always best to call and confirm independently that the banking instructions have changed prior to acting on the email. And, and this should be something that all staff and a company are aware of. Right? And I think our expert should also notify their own clients that banking instruction changes, like are first confirmed over the phone with an actual person. Um, I've seen many exporters even write this on their invoices, and I think that's really smart. It's a smart thing to do that, uh, they do not change banking instructions via email only by telephone. So it's, it's a good practice one to put in place, and I think it would prevent this type of gloss for sure. Speaker 1 00:19:43 Okay. Um, Michelle, you had mentioned to me that you have seen issues when a bill is paid with a credit card and you think, okay, you paid with a credit card, everything is okay here, but then it wasn't, okay, what happened? Speaker 0 00:19:58 And again, these are people asking questions about credit insurance and, and when people are, uh, selling on a credit card term, often it's a prepaid scenario and, and prepaid is not, uh, open terms, so therefore it wouldn't necessarily qualify under credit insurance policy. What's important to know here is there are scammers out there that abide by the container load show up with a credit card the credit card goes through. So the credit manager thinks everything's fine and they release the goods, and the next thing you know, a couple weeks later, the bank has actually declined the transaction, so the vendor is left holding the bag. Um, again. Wow. Yeah, that, that, oh Speaker 2 00:20:43 My goodness. Speaker 0 00:20:44 Terribly scary. Um, and, and it's, you know, happened on a number of occasions. I've, I've heard of it more than once and through various, uh, companies. So it's something that can happen. It's something to be leery about, especially big transactions. So it, that all boils right back down to know who you're selling. Speaker 1 00:21:05 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Okay. Okay. Let's talk about corporate identity fraud. Anna, what's Speaker 2 00:21:11 That? Yes. Oh, and we're seeing more and more of this for sure. Um, it's when, um, an exporter's client, the buyer, um, impersonates, a well-known and credit worthy corporate entity by spoofing websites and email addresses. And, you know, it's always the same thing that transpires every time. So the client, uh, the exporter gets a new client, they're really excited for the sale. So communication is kept up with the exporter and all is going well, um, until the goods are shipped. Then all of a sudden it becomes impossible to contact the buyer. Phone numbers no longer work, email addresses bounce back out of frustration. The exporter contacts the company via a number they found on the corporate website, um, only to be told that the company has no record of the PO or the sale. So it's frustrating because the exporter genuinely believed that they were transacting with the corporate entity. And, uh, I can totally understand why I've seen so many, um, pos that look legitimate fraud fraudsters can be very sophisticated and very convincing. You really need to be observant. Uh, and I've noticed now that there are certain red flags that I look out for when I assess a claim. And after about seeing a dozen of these cases, I, I'm pretty good at like determining if you are dealing with the same entity that you, you think you're dealing with. Speaker 1 00:22:35 Okay. So let's talk about, um, you know, you talked about corporate websites, um, are generally on registered domains. So let's talk about, let's talk about what you're looking for in somebody's email there. Speaker 2 00:22:50 Yeah. So when I start, um, looking or looking at correspondence between our exporters, um, in, in the process of assessing a claim, I look at email addresses. So if your contact person has an email address that is different from the corporate website, that most definitely is a red flag. So corporate websites are, um, and I'm not an IT expert and, and maybe I'm, but this is what I understand. Okay, so they're registered domains, right? So the corporate entity controls the use of the domain. Anyone that is associated with that website will have exactly, and I'm talking syntax wise, letter wise, the same, uh, format as the email will have the same format as a corporate, uh, website. So you have to be super observant. Take a look at this, this email, does it match the corporate web website of the entity that you think you're dealing with? Speaker 2 00:23:46 And I, and I wanna warn the exporters that changes are so subtle, it's like one extra letter or dash or an extra period or an extra dot uh, dash us. Um, another thing that's not logical, and I see this really often is that, you know, you're dealing with a contact with a generic email like, uh, I dunno, [email protected], and this is supposed to be an official representative of a company with a corporate website. No, that, that, that's not logical, and that's very unlikely. So for me, that's a red flag. I always start by checking the emails against the corporate website. Speaker 1 00:24:20 Okay. And what about, what are you looking for on a purchase order? Speaker 2 00:24:23 Um, you need to scrutinize it. I mean, I think fraudsters are really good at, at copying corporate logos from the website. So a corporate logo in itself is not really an indication of anything. Um, but I, I, I try, but I do try to make sure that the corporate logo, sometimes they change the address and the phone numbers, right? Because you don't wanna actually be reaching, the fraudsters don't want you to reach the real company. They want you to reach them, right? So make sure on the logo, the address is the same as a corporate entity. The phone numbers are the same that the area code for the phone numbers are in the same country. You know, another thing I look for, like where the goods shipped to, like, does it make sense for this company to direct you to ship it to a certain location? Speaker 2 00:25:03 Like, uh, for example, once I saw a po, um, uh, and the, the company was an American company with, uh, a strong website, like a chemical manufacturing company, and the shipment went to an affiliate in Ghana. But if you look at the corporate website, clearly a, a domestic kind of US company with absolutely no international presence whatsoever. So for me, that was the red flag. Like why is it going to Ghana? Right? Right. Um, another thing, and, and just, you know, in general, just be observant. Like one time I saw PO that was signed by Marilyn Monroe and Thomas Jefferson <laugh>, like their actual signatures that you can Google on the web and the exporter had noticed that the Anne taking the time to like, try to read who signed it. So definitely be observant. Notice details when you get a po. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:25:51 And what's your, what are some of your final thoughts about, you know, what makes a transaction look odd to you? Speaker 2 00:26:00 Well, it, like my, I always do a, um, like a reality check or does this make good sense, right? Like think of, of what you're selling, go to the corporate website of this new client, do that you do, uh, that you have, like what do they do? Like, is it logical that they would buy your product? Like does it, like, does it fit within their business and yours? Like, I've seen crazy things like maybe an auto mechanic in Italy buying Canadian lobsters, for example. Like, why would an auto mechanic wanna buy a lobsters? Right. Or just crazy things like that. That's a crazy Speaker 1 00:26:33 Party. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:26:34 <laugh>. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:26:35 They're having a huge party. Speaker 2 00:26:36 Right, exactly. Um, you know, like for example, if you're selling, I saw once a, a company that sells some kind of agricultural commodity dealing with like a robotic company. Like it doesn't make sense like this, you know, that would've tipped me off, like, why do you wanna buy a a, an agricultural additive for food when you, I dunno, do robots strange mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So if anything seems sus suspicious, you know, find a number on the corporate website and call to confirm the po Like the accounts payable people are usually, you can get so much information over the phone, a quick phone call, uh, can prevent a loss. And it's just so simple, you know? And maybe even a material one for a company and a loss, unfortunately that is not insured under your e D C policy. So I think at the end of the day, like my advice is pretty simple. Speaker 2 00:27:22 Like, make sure the transaction makes sense and make sure that you know who you're dealing with. And Michelle, you, you've said this so many times, right? Especially if this is a new client for you, like a little due diligence and investigative work at the front of the transaction can really make a world of difference. And, you know, and I get it, our exporters wanna sell. That is what they're good at. They wanna sell, but is a sale really a sale if you don't get paid? Right. If you get caught up in fraud? No, it's not worth it. It's much better to, you know, scrutinize, you know, exerts due diligence at the start of the transaction to make sure that this doesn't become a loss for you. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:27:57 And Michelle, like you, you've talked about this many times in the past. This is what receivables insurance is all about. But if, if you've got an ri uh, receivables insurance provider that you're working with and you're bringing on a new client, they can go and investigate them. That's kind of what they do, right? They can find out if it makes sense that this company is actually legitimate and can pay their bills, right? Speaker 0 00:28:20 Absolutely. And that, that's a strength of having that credit insurer do that vetting for you. Um, they're there to help if it doesn't make sense. If you're not sure, I always tell my policy holders, give a call. We'll look at it with a second set of eyes. Um, you know, I, I've even gone so far as to do a Google Maps and look right down at the, the picture of the building to see if it made sense. Oh, oh yeah. Speaker 2 00:28:43 It's, it's funny you say that because I also Google addresses and sometimes it's like a residential house in the middle of a urban neighborhood. Like it's ridiculous. Exactly. Why would a Yeah. Or a storage unit somewhere like, you know, not very logical, right? Speaker 0 00:28:56 It might make sense of a startup, someone's starting in their basement. I you maybe, you know, I get that. But you know, if it's not, then you might have something to worry about. And, uh, Speaker 2 00:29:06 <laugh>, absolutely. Speaker 0 00:29:07 You know, so these are things that, that we can do to help. Um, but also the insurer will investigate and they'll come back with the official address and all that stuff. So if it's not matching, there may be a problem. Yeah. Um, so just like you said, Anna, contact the company. Speaker 2 00:29:24 Yeah. Investigate, like, why, why are you using this address when this address is, you know, your official address as per, you know, a credit report, for example, right? Oh, we Speaker 0 00:29:34 Moved. Okay. Companies moved all the time. It happens. Yes. But it's gotta be verified and Speaker 2 00:29:41 Absolutely. Speaker 0 00:29:42 And then of course the credit investigation company that the insurer uses will investigate mm-hmm. <affirmative> and come back mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So within a very short period of time, normally we'll have the answer as to are we actually stripping the right place? Um, so if you're not sure, you know, um, say something, does this make sense? Because we're all in this chain, we're all here to help you and we don't wanna see you have a loss, you know? So that's, uh, we're here to help. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:30:13 Bottom line. Okay, so we're almost outta time ladies, so I want any final thoughts or any final tips that you guys can both provide us? So, um, Michelle, I think you might've just given us yours Speaker 2 00:30:26 <laugh>, right? <laugh>. Speaker 0 00:30:28 I repeat myself a lot and that's okay. I don't mind know your client. That's the best advice I can give you. Speaker 2 00:30:34 Yeah. And that's such an important message, right? Be observant, question scrutinize. Don't just, you know, accept what you see in front of you. Make sure it makes sense that that's it. Make sure it makes sense. Speaker 1 00:30:46 Yeah. You can't, you cannot take it on faith at this point in time. Speaker 2 00:30:50 No, no, unfortunately. How are your Speaker 0 00:30:51 Gut too? Sometimes? Yeah. You get feelings, uh, are are worth a world, uh, of knowledge. It really, it's amazing what a gut feeling can, can do. Speaker 1 00:31:01 Yeah. Ladies, you know what, this has been so fascinating to me. I really appreciate your time to talk about all of the scenarios that you're seeing out there, and we probably should do an update sometime in the future on this. But thanks so much for sharing your insights and your tips and I, I really hope some of the information that you've provided today raises some flags for our listeners and protects them in the coming weeks and months. So thank you. Speaker 0 00:31:26 Thank you. Speaker 2 00:31:26 You're so welcome. Thank you. Speaker 1 00:31:29 Innovates is Senior Debt Services Manager, special risks insurance and trade guarantees at E V C and Michelle Davies is principal broker and president at Credit Assu. She's also a member of the Receivables Insurance Association of Canada. The Trade Securely Podcast is brought to you by the Receivables Insurance Association of Canada, a member supported organization of Canadians helping Canadian businesses grow. You can follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, and please share this podcast to help others protect and cover their assets. I'm Janet Eastman. Thanks for listening.

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