DEW RAKA THOUGHT HIS PLAN WAS foolproof. He never expected that a routine audit of changes to customers' addresses could detect his chicaneries. However, the internal audit team at Aktap Inc., an Indonesia-based consumer financing arm of a furniture and appliances retailer, was able to uncover a weakness in Dew's plan and unravel the misdeeds of a trusted company employee.
During his tenure at Aktap, Dew had earned praise for his performance and was recently promoted from credit surveyor to credit analyst. With the promotion, he was transferred to a satellite store in a small city in Central Java, where he occupied the highest position in the credit department. As he quickly learned, his new position came with a new way of profiting from his employer.
As a former credit surveyor, Dew knew all about the schemes used by customers who defaulted on their debts and then fled. Some used phony addresses on their credit applications, while others temporarily stayed in residences claimed as their permanent homes, only to disappear after the goods were delivered.
Dew was inspired by those devious customers. He realized that, with his newfound authority to grant credit, he could use the same trick to gain from the company illicitly. But, unlike those sneaky customers who could falsify their addresses and then disappear after deceiving the company, he would have more trouble hiding his identity and location, as his personal information was sitting in the company's file cabinet. Because Dew couldn't cover his fraud scheme by merely recording a false address, he would need to arrange a conspiracy to defraud his employer, one that involved using an accomplice's identity for the credit application instead of his own.
Unfortunately, even among his potential accomplices, Dew had trouble finding individuals who were willing to lend their identifying information to his scheme or who were willing to continually move from one address to another to escape pursuit by credit collectors. He knew he would need another--simpler--way to conceal his scheme.
He began searching for a way to outsmart the system and came upon a solution. While looking at the IT configuration he usually ran when processing customers' applications, he found something interesting that he had not previously noticed--a tiny feature in the system that could be exploited to facilitate his fraudulent plan.
As Dew already knew, the customer account details menu contained a feature that allowed him...