I'm a CFE

Global Fraud Prevention Project Manager, Discover Financial Services

By Interview by Cora Bullock; Photo by Peter Wynn Thompson

 cora-bullock-80x80    I'm a CFE 


  MarchApril-steve-ozanOzan is the global fraud prevention project manager at Discover Financial Services. He facilitates conversations between internal and/or external customers about credit card fraud issues, provides information on best practices and implements fraud mitigation tools.  

Sports taught me the confidence, determination and patience to see through difficult tasks and issues, whether it be on the playing field or out in the field during an investigation. 

My grandparents told me about the IRS capturing Al Capone for tax evasion and how previously he had gotten away with everything else. I knew that white-collar crime investigations and fraud prevention were only going to grow more dynamic with the expanded implementation of RICO, the increased use of debit and credit cards and the Internet's influx of electronic commerce. There is always something new to learn and apply, and because of these factors my role will never become commonplace.

The University of Cincinnati has one of the top criminal justice programs in the country. I took a class to learn more about the subject, and within a week I had changed my major. 

I served as a peace officer at a small liberal arts college just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Working on foot patrol in a university setting, the most valuable skill set you must learn, and learn quickly, is how to operate within a variety of situations that no one ever contemplates when they take the oath to become a police officer. Every cadet contemplates what their first arrest will be like, but, as far as I know, no cadet ever contemplates what it's like to catalogue biology books at the student bookstore. 

The fraudsters were stealing high-value textbooks in one college's bookstore and then selling them to another school bookstore. By cataloguing the books, my department created a tracking system that both monitored the targeted books in a more precise manner and allowed us to arrest the perpetrators. 


While working as a card fraud investigator at a bank in Cincinnati, an employee of a large university on the West coast who contacted me was concerned about multiple credit cards being delivered to the same residence hall. He provided me the address of these cards, and I began to investigate, eventually determining that there were 25 different octogenarians with my bank's credit cards all residing in the same dorm room. I proceeded to track them down, discovering that they lived at a nearby retirement home. I contacted local authorities and the Secret Service, leading to the arrest of a student who was moonlighting as an orderly in the retirement home. This fraudster was taking the credit cards and sending cash advances to a contact in Montreal, Quebec, who was then sending the money overseas.  

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By Erin_Morasch