ICI Announces It Is Now An Approved Vendor for Greenberg Traurig, LLP

ICI Announces It Is Now An Approved Vendor for Greenberg Traurig, LLP

New York, New York, May 27, 2024:

International Consultants and Investigations, Inc. (ICI) announced it has been selected as an approved vendor by the law Firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Earl R. Johnson, PhD, CII, and President/CEO of International Consultants and Investigations, Inc. (ICI) has announced that ICI has been approved as a vendor and service provider by the law firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP (GT). Greenberg Traurig is located in 47 locations and 14 countries employing over 2,700 attorneys. ICI is proud to become a trusted vendor of this prestigious Firm.

International Consultants and Investigations, Inc. has been providing consulting and investigative services worldwide for over thirty years. A certified member of the Council of International Investigators and the World Association of Professional Investigators, ICI is licensed in New York, Florida and Nevada with offices worldwide. For further information or inquiries email Earl R. Johnson, [email protected], or by phone: (212) 582-3115.

Common Types of Financial Fraud Business Owners Need to Be Concerned About

Common Types of Financial Fraud Business Owners Need to Be Concerned About

In today’s fast-paced business environment, financial fraud poses a significant risk to companies of all sizes. Business owners must be vigilant and aware of the various forms of fraud that can undermine their operations. Understanding these threats is the first step in developing robust preventive measures. Here are some of the most common types of financial fraud that business owners should be concerned about:

1. Embezzlement

Embezzlement occurs when employees steal money or other assets entrusted to them. This can happen in various ways, such as skimming off the top, creating fake vendor accounts, or manipulating financial records. Embezzlement often goes unnoticed for extended periods, especially if the perpetrator is in a position of trust.

Preventive Measures:

  • Implementing strict internal controls.
  • Conducting regular audits.
  • Segregating duties among employees to prevent a single individual from controlling multiple financial processes.

2. Payroll Fraud

Payroll fraud is one of the most common forms of employee theft, involving actions such as falsifying time sheets, adding ghost employees to the payroll, or claiming unearned overtime. This type of fraud can significantly inflate a company’s payroll expenses.

Preventive Measures:

  • Utilizing automated time-tracking systems.
  • Regularly reconciling payroll records.
  • Conducting surprise payroll audits.

3. Invoice Fraud

Invoice fraud happens when fraudulent invoices are submitted for payment. This can involve fictitious vendors, inflated invoices from real vendors, or duplicate invoices. This type of fraud can drain company resources and often involves collusion between internal and external parties.

Preventive Measures:

  • Verifying all invoices with purchase orders and delivery receipts.
  • Establish a process for verbally verifying requests to change vendor bank account information.
  • Implementing a multi-step approval process for large payments.
  • Conducting vendor audits.

4. Expense Reimbursement Fraud

Employees may submit false or inflated expense reports, claiming personal expenses as business-related or exaggerating the cost of legitimate expenses. This type of fraud is particularly common in companies with lenient expense reporting policies.

Preventive Measures:

  • Requiring detailed receipts for all expense claims.
  • Setting clear policies for what constitutes a reimbursable expense.
  • Review and verify expense reports thoroughly.

5. Check Fraud

Check fraud includes activities such as forging signatures, altering checks, or using stolen checks to make unauthorized payments. This can result in substantial financial losses and damage to a company’s reputation.

Preventive Measures:

  • Using secure, tamper-evident checks.
  • Reconciling bank statements promptly.
  • Implementing positive pay systems that match issued checks against those presented for payment.

6. Procurement Fraud

Procurement fraud involves manipulation in the purchasing process, such as kickbacks, bid rigging, or overbilling by suppliers. This can lead to higher costs and lower-quality goods or services.

Preventive Measures:

  • Enforcing a competitive bidding process.
  • Segregating procurement responsibilities.
  • Conducting regular supplier audits and reviews.

7. Financial Statement Fraud

This type of fraud involves the deliberate misrepresentation of financial information to deceive stakeholders about the company’s financial health. It can include actions like overstating revenues, understating liabilities, or inflating asset values.

Preventive Measures:

  • Ensuring rigorous internal and external audits.
  • Maintaining transparency in financial reporting.
  • Implementing strong corporate governance practices.

8. Cyber Fraud

With increasing reliance on digital platforms, cyber fraud has become a significant concern. It includes phishing, hacking, ransomware attacks, and fraudulent electronic transactions. Cybercriminals target company funds and sensitive information, posing a severe threat to business continuity.

Preventive Measures:

  • Employing robust cybersecurity measures.
  • Training employees on cybersecurity best practices.
  • Establishing multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all highly sensitive accounts (banking, email, etc)
  • Regularly updating software and systems to protect against vulnerabilities.


Financial fraud can severely impact a company’s bottom line and reputation. Business owners must be proactive in implementing comprehensive measures to detect and prevent fraudulent activities. Regular audits, robust internal controls, employee training, and a culture of transparency are crucial components in safeguarding against financial fraud. By staying vigilant and informed, business owners can protect their enterprises from the various forms of financial fraud that threaten their success.

Understanding W-2 Phishing and Its Impact During Tax Season

Understanding W-2 Phishing and Its Impact During Tax Season

As W-2’s are due to employees by the end of January, businesses face not only the annual task of filing tax statements for employees but also an increasing threat from cybercriminals targeting sensitive employee information through W-2 phishing scams. Understanding the risks and implementing preventive measures is crucial to safeguarding your business, ensuring the protection of the personal information of your employees, and protecting employees from potential financial and reputational damage.

What is W-2 Phishing?

W-2 phishing is a type of cyber attack where scammers impersonate company executives or human resources personnel to trick employees into providing copies of W-2 forms or other sensitive personal information. These forms contain valuable data such as Social Security numbers, earnings, and tax withholdings, which are essential for filing tax returns.

How Does W-2 Phishing Work?

  1. Email Spoofing: Cybercriminals send emails that appear to come from company executives or HR departments. These emails typically request that employees provide W-2 forms or other sensitive information urgently. The emails also can target HR departments from other departments, such as finance, to gather the information of multiple employees at once.
  2. Social Engineering: The emails often use urgency or authority to manipulate employees into complying with the request. They may also contain links to fake websites where employees are prompted to enter their login credentials or sensitive information.
  3. Data Theft: Once scammers obtain W-2 forms or personal information, they can use it for various fraudulent activities, including filing false tax returns, identity theft, or selling the data on the DarkWeb.

Impact on Business

W-2 phishing can have serious consequences for businesses such as:

  • Financial Loss: Businesses may incur financial losses due to fraudulent tax filings or legal expenses resulting from identity theft claims.
  • Reputational Damage: A data breach can damage trust and reputation with employees, customers, and stakeholders.
  • Regulatory Penalties: Businesses may face penalties and legal consequences for failing to protect employee information adequately.

Preventive Measures

Protecting your business against W-2 phishing requires a proactive approach:

  1. Employee Training: Educate all employees about phishing scams, emphasizing the importance of verifying email requests for sensitive information before responding. Also make sure that your Finance and HR departments are fully aware of the threat of W-2 phishing during tax season. An annual reminder does not hurt.
  2. Verification Procedures: Establish clear procedures for verifying requests for sensitive information, such as W-2 forms, particularly when received via email or phone.
  3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Require MFA for accessing systems that contain sensitive employee information to prevent unauthorized access.
  4. Vendor Due Diligence: Verify the security measures of third-party vendors who have access to employee data, such as payroll service providers.


As tax season approaches, businesses must remain vigilant against W-2 phishing scams. By educating employees, enhancing email security measures, and implementing robust verification procedures, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to these cyber threats. Protecting sensitive employee information not only safeguards your business from financial losses and legal liabilities but also preserves trust and credibility with your workforce. Stay informed, stay proactive, and prioritize cybersecurity to defend against W-2 phishing and other evolving cyber threats. Your diligence today can prevent potential disruptions and protect your business’s future.

ICI’s Legal Division

ICI’s Legal Division

ICI’s Legal Division focuses on international financial fraud matters. ICI has special expertise in the following, including, but not limited to: financial instruments, prime bank notes and offshore tax havens involving banks and trust companies.  Email ICI to with your concerns and one of our agents will respond in a timely manner.

ICI is now offering credit checks

ICI is now offering credit checks

International Consultants and Investigations, Inc. (ICI) is now offering credit checks for pre-employment and rentals for a fee of $50.00.  As an added bonus, ICI will also provide our Global Watch program.  The Global Watch program is inclusive of US Government and financial enforcement checks as well as an international criminal background evaluation.  Complete background checks are available; fees are dependent upon the depth of check required.

Note that an authorization signed by the subject is required for all credit checks within the US. ICI can provide this form upon your request.

For information, contact ICI at: [email protected]

Visit us at : www.icicompanies.com


TEGO CYBER SECURITY – ICI’s exciting new client

ICI’s exciting new client, Tego Cyber has requested the we enlighten our associates and clients to this powerful new cyber security solution. As a rule, we do not disclose client names but, in this case, we feel compelled to release this information.

TEGO Cyber’s mission is to deliver an intelligent, state-of-the-art threat intelligence platform with a proprietary process of collecting and enriching threat data to help enterprises identify threats within their environments.

TEGO Cyber threat intelligence application helps enterprises meet the challenges of today’s connected business world. This is an advanced threat intelligence platform utilizing proprietary software solutions for the enterprise space; the founding team is highly experienced and recognized within the cyber security field. The TEGO threat intelligence [platform (TTIP) integrates with top end security platforms to gather, analyze and proactively identify threats to an enterprise network. As a result:

A proprietary process is used to compile, analyze and then deliver data to an enterprise network in a foprmat that is timely, informative and relevant. This data is provided in context and included specific details for the enterprise to identify and counteract threats.


Stay tuned for more on Tego Cyber!

Airport and Hotel Wi-Fi Hacks

Connecting to public Wi-Fi gives savvy hackers easy access to your personnel information.  Too avoid these scams use your smart phone to connect to the internet more securely.  You might also invest in a virtual private network (VPN), a service that encrypts your data to keep unscrupulous hackers from stealing sensitive information online.  A VPN costs about $30 to $100 a year.

AARP Bulletin June 2021





a) don’t store credit card info on a website

b) don’t open or respond to unwanted email or email from a party you don’t know.  This can unleash a “worm” air virus on your computer that will disable your system and/or allow hackers to get in.

c) make sure you are on a secure page when shopping on the Internet.

d) use just one credit card exclusively for internet shopping

e) utilize virus and security protection.  These can be purchased or provided for free by firms like Microsoft for users of their operating system.


a) do not use convenience store ATMs or those not provided by a financial institution.

b), choose a pin number that’s hard to crack

c) always make sure no one is looking over you shoulder while you’re using an ATM

d) make sure the ATM hasn’t been tampered with

e) use ATSMs that are in trafficked and well lit areas and not isolated or hidden from view


a) do not give out personal info over the phone if you didn’t initiate the call own know the party you’re speaking to

b) register with a national do not cal system

c) don’t offer up your social security, credit card or bank account numbers unless you know who you’re speaking to

d)  do not send money over currency apps or give credit/debit card info to parties you don’t know.  Current scams revolve around grand children in trouble needing money, “Medicare” or “IRS” calls threatening legal action if “past due balances” aren’t remitted immediately or any other call from a bank or financial institution requesting verification of account numbers, PIN numbers, etc.


a) consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report every 12 months.  All three of the credit reporting agencies are required by law to fulfill the request.  Log onto consumer.gov for more info or refer to ICI’s website  icicompanies.com

Online Vaccine Scams: Homeland Security Investigations, INTERPOL Issue Public Warning

Online Vaccine Scams: Homeland Security Investigations, INTERPOL Issue Public Warning

Source: ICE Newsroom bulletin

Online vaccine scams: Homeland Security Investigations, INTERPOL issue public warning

‘Be vigilant, be skeptical, be safe’

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)and INTERPOL have joined forces to warn the public against purchasing alleged COVID-19 vaccines and treatments online.

With criminal groups producing, distributing and selling fake vaccines, the risks to the public are clear: these can include buying a product which not only does not protect against COVID-19, but poses a serious health hazard if ingested or injected. Such products are not tested, regulated or safety-checked.

Legitimate vaccines are not for sale. They are strictly administered and distributed by national healthcare regulators.

“Counterfeit vaccines threaten the health of consumers who are duped by nefarious actors seeking to exploit the pandemic situation for financial gain. HSI and its law enforcement partners will vigorously investigate and seek prosecution for criminals taking advantage of the public’s quest for COVID-19 vaccinations and those who endanger the lives of the very people the vaccines are intended to protect,” said HSI Assistant Director, and Director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, Steve Francis.

Anyone buying these products online also runs the risk of potentially giving their money to organized criminals.

Crime wave

“From the very beginning of the pandemic, criminals have preyed on people’s fears in order to make fast cash. Fake vaccines are the latest in these scams, which is why INTERPOL and HSI are warning the public to be extra vigilant,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock. “Anyone ordering a vaccine online rather than obtaining it from their national provider, will be buying a fake product.”

“The networks behind these crimes have global ambitions. No country or region can fight this type of crime alone. INTERPOL is assisting law enforcement around the world to both identify criminal networks and to dismantle them,” added Secretary General Stock.

Following a global alert issued by INTERPOL in late 2020 the world police body recently announced the first internationally linked arrests and seizures in connection with fake vaccines after criminal networks were disrupted in China and South Africa.

INTERPOL has also been receiving additional information on fake vaccine distribution and scam attempts targeting health bodies, including nursing homes.

“HSI will continue to work with INTERPOL to coordinate investigations targeting every level of the transnational criminal organizations trafficking in counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines,” added Francis.

Online scams

An emerging trend has seen cybercriminals set up illicit websites claiming to be legitimate national and/or world organizations offering pre-orders for vaccines against the COVID-19 virus. These websites offer payments in bitcoins and other payment processing methods.

Using trademark logos of major pharmaceutical companies producing approved COVID-19 vaccines, the fake websites are suspected of being used to conduct phishing attacks and/or dupe victims into giving charitable donations.

In addition to opening up their computer to cyberattacks when attempting to purchase alleged COVID-19 vaccines online, people also run the risk of having their identity stolen.

In December 2020, HSI seized two websites purporting to be those of biotechnology companies developing treatments for the COVID-19 virus. Instead they appeared to have been used to collect the personal information of individuals visiting the sites, in order to use the information for criminal purposes, including fraud, phishing attacks, and/or deployment of malware.

Ransomware attacks have also been conducted against hospitals, laboratories, local governments and other targets, remotely blocking computer systems and demanding a payment to release them.

Given the need for a global response against these types of cyber-enabled fraud and financial crime, INTERPOL created the Global Financial Crime Task Force (IGFCTF) in 2020 with member countries in order to enhance international cooperation and innovation with public and private sector partners.

To report suspected illicit criminal activity or fraudulent schemes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, email [email protected].

ATM Users – Beware!

ATM Users – Beware!

ATM users be advised, this counterfeit $20.00 bill, seen below, is one of 100 inserted into an ATM machine in one stack; this is what placed it out of order.  The perpetrators planned to recover an advance fee from the bank of $200.00 utilizing a bank account opened with a stolen identity. This is just one scam involving the ATM machines of major financial institutions as well as the smaller regional banks.


First main concern:  bad guys will intentionally place a machine out of order utilizing a jamming device to set up an armed robbery while a technician is repairing the system.  The bank customer may also be forced at gunpoint to withdraw money by an armed robber who will remove the “jam”.  This, unfortunately is more common than most expect, especially at night in remote locations.  Remember,   each ATM machine contains substantial amounts money and is, therefor, a popular target for thieves.

Second main concern: there are mutable capabilities provided bad guys via high tech to obtain your personal data including your account information even as you use the machine.  Avoid using machines not owned by financial institutions such as those found in bodegas, convenience stores, etc.

In the past, a criminal could steal the whole ATM machine.   Mega structures containing these machines have made it very difficult if not impossible to succeed at that.  More reason, therefor, for you to be concerned that you are the “soft” target.

You must be always alert, avoid late night visits to ATM’s in areas of large shopping malls; especially stand alone island machines.  Make sure you observe the surrounding area looking for individuals standing around, often under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  At drive-up machines, as you approach the kiosk, be aware of occupied cars in an overlook position within the area of the ATM.

While utilizing an ATM system: 1) maintain due diligence, make sure you’re not being watched and/or someones has not sidled up to you, 2) If you drove up to a system, once again keep your eyes open for approaching individuals during or persons loitering in a automobile or being a column, 3) avoid machines not operated by financial institutions and 4) If possible avoid late night visits to utilize the ATM system.