Frank Dara, CFE worked his way up from a Loss Prevention in-store Detective to becoming the North America Investigations Manager for Nike after years of fraud fighting.
This is his story in his own words.
How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
After graduating from the University of South Florida with my Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, I obtained my first role as a store loss prevention detective. Being on the front line of theft and fraud, I quickly saw the impact that fraud and crime can have, not only against corporations, but against people. For me, it’s all about your impact on people and society. Retail workers must execute a business’ strategy to be profitable while executing multiple responsibilities for an organization. When you see others taking advantage of profits while your business partners are putting in such efforts, it was easy for me to become passionate about combatting fraud.
Fraud is like a puzzle that needs to be solved. Taking ownership and pride in my work, while solving the puzzle with integrity, enforces my passion for making a positive difference in society.
How did you get to your current role?
My current role at Nike is the North America Investigations Manager, which supports all retail. To obtain this role, I went through just about every level of loss prevention: Mall Security Officer, Store Detective, LP Manager, LP Investigator, Multi Unit LP Manager, Organized Retail Crime Investigations, Global Corporate Investigator and now Investigations Manager! I have worked for what I see as the world’s leading big box retailer, discount retailer and now sports apparel company. Broadening my experience by working for some world-class retailers and taking on various roles with expanding responsibilities allowed me to achieve the role I’m in today. Although I have put in the work, none of this could have been possible without the support of many personal and professional mentors from our industry.
What are challenges you face in your role?
The challenges in my role are like any other loss prevention department that has brick and mortar stores and sells in the digital space. Retail has become a lucrative target for the bad actor, and it does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The ever-changing fraud schemes, theft for resell, online selling platforms and the changing legislation that has reduced penalties for retail property crimes continue to challenge the loss prevention industry as a whole.
What is an important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
An important lesson I have learned is the value of relationships and partnerships. The loss prevention industry is what I would consider a very small and tight-knit community. I would not have been successful in my career without all the established partnerships, whether they are fraud professionals or with law enforcement agencies. I truly believe your network is your net worth in this line of work.
What is important to you about being a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)?
Being a CFE means I have taken the personal step to join a world class organization. It’s about challenging myself to remain current in the industry with trends and general education. The CFE credential is truly the gold stamp of professionalism, education and integrity! Out of all the certifications I have, this is the one I proudly display on my LinkedIn profile.
SOURCE: ACFE Insights – A Publication of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners