Kristofer Healey

IRS Phone Scam, Episode #94

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Kristofer Healey is the owner and CEO of The Secure Entrepreneur. He founded the company to help business owners improve their fiscal health by changing their habits to eliminate risk and reduce exposure to fraud.

But before becoming an entrepreneur he was a Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security. He spent over 15 years in federal law enforcement as a top-secret clearance holder. He conducted large-scale multi-defendant fraud investigations and high-risk tactical investigations both domestically and overseas.

Kristofer is a subject matter expert on telefraud whose criminal investigative work has been featured in national media profiles, most notably his work investigating India-based call center networks targeting American citizens. Listen in for some great stories about Kristofer’s journey in entrepreneurship and how you can protect yourself and your business.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • [2:49] How Kristofer became The Secure Entrepreneur
  • [4:50] The craziest things Kristofer’s seen on the US-Mexico Border
  • [9:35] Dismantling the largest telefraud scam in the United States
  • [13:16] How to protect yourself and your business from telefraud
  • [17:03] What is the “Sheepdog Mindset” and how can you use it?
  • [22:58] Common ways entrepreneurs are exposed to potential fraud
  • [27:20] Prevent yourself from being a victim of fraud by being vigilant
  • [31:22] How Kristofer’s handling the shift from Special Agent to entrepreneur
  • [33:34] What’s the next big thing happening in Kristopher Healey’s world?
  • [34:22] Cracking the largest tele-fraud case in US history
  • [35:53] What brought Kristofer joy and put him in the right mindset for success?

How Kristofer became The Secure Entrepreneur

Kristofer was a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security for over 15 years. He spent a fair amount of time as a subject matter expert on telefraud and elder fraud (where overseas call centers preyed on the elderly). He led a team of investigators that looked at networks that exploited individuals in the United States.

He’s dealt with thousands of victims of these scams and his team has taken down dozens of individuals domestically and abroad. Throughout his career, Kristofer realized they were working reactively. The victims of many of the crimes could have been saved if they had someone acting proactively on their behalf.

Kristofer sees the same ability for call centers to victimize people in the entrepreneur space. So when he left his job with the Federal Government, he opened a business to help people become well-versed in what these scams are and how they can protect themselves from them.

Dismantling the largest telefraud scam in the United States

When Kristofer worked in the Rio Grande Valley, they had a handful of agents who rotated on phones taking incoming complaints. One week, when Kristofer was on duty, several complaints came in from people who were Indian Nationals in the US.

They had received telephone calls from someone claiming to be from the Department of Homeland Security. This person was threatening them with deportation if they didn’t pay fines. They were told to buy gift cards and read off the numbers to the person on the phone. When they began to realize this wasn’t legitimate, they filed police reports.

Kristofer looked into it, thinking there might be a single corrupt DHS employee. It turned into a six-year-long investigation that ended with the indictment of 61 individuals in the US and India for their roles in a massive government impersonation case.

How to protect yourself and your business from telefraud

Kristofer points out that scammers rely far more on psychology than technology. They have to use VOIP technology and be computer literate. But these people make thousands of calls a day. They’re practiced in their scripts and verbal judo of getting someone to believe them. It’s a psychological game. They’re great salespeople who get you to act on the principles of scarcity and urgency.

So what do you do if you’re the object of one of these phone calls? Do the same thing you would do with a high-pressure sales offer: Pump the brakes. If it doesn’t feel right in your gut, take your foot off the gas and don’t do something you can’t undo. Certainly don’t give them money.

Common ways entrepreneurs are exposed to potential fraud

The more involved you are in the online marketplace, the greater your exposure to fraud. When you’re marketing on social media, you’re giving information away. You’re sharing who you are and how your business operates. You need to recognize that you’re also drawing in people who want to take advantage of you.

You can share information about your business without it making you an easy target. You need to develop situational awareness and operational security. Recognize your threats and vulnerabilities and do your best to mitigate that risk. That’s where Kristofer comes alongside entrepreneurs.

When you’re selling something to someone, you’re looking to build rapport and find common ground. You’re trying to get someone to know, like, and trust you. Scammers are trying to do the same thing. Anything you share can be exploited. Where you live, where you’re on vacation, the car you drive—all of those things can be used against you. Know who your audience is and don’t do things that leave you vulnerable.

Hear more about Kristofer’s adventures as a Special Agent and how he works to educate and protect entrepreneurs in this episode of Mitlin Money Mindset™!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kristofer Healey

Bio

Kristofor Healey is the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Black Bear Security Consultants, LLC, a security management consulting firm who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners improve their fiscal health by changing their habits to eliminate risk and reduce their exposure to fraud.

Healey is a Texas licensed private investigator and former Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security who has more than 15 years of experience in federal law enforcement as a Top-Secret clearance holder conducting large scale, multi-defendant fraud investigations and high-risk tactical operations, domestically and overseas.

As a Special Agent, Healey served in his agency’s Major Fraud and Corruption Unit, served on various federal task forces, testified in state and federal criminal proceedings as a Subject Matter Expert on tele-fraud, and has been a featured speaker at law enforcement and industry conferences and training academies, as well as an overseas representative on behalf of the U.S. Government.

Healey’s criminal investigative work has been featured in national media profiles and his work investigating the India based call center networks targeting American citizens is the subject of a Campside Media serial podcast chronicling his team’s identification, arrest and extradition of the Godfather of the IRS telephone scam.

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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