The Fraud Examiner

Fascination with Risks and Controls Ignites CFE’s Passion for Preventing Fraud

July 2015

ACFE Member Profile
Gregg Stephens, CFE
Head of Fraud Prevention and Payment Security, Citizens Bank 

Gregg Stephens, CFE, Head of Fraud Prevention and Payment Security at Citizens Bank, grew up living in four different states and has worked in retail, health care and technology services. He did all of this before finding his personal home in New Hampshire and his professional home in fraud prevention.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in central Ohio but then moved around quite a bit as a kid, living in New York, Minnesota and Massachusetts before moving to New Hampshire in 1981, where I have lived ever since. 


How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?

To me there was something fascinating about the prevalence of the risks of fraud and the corresponding control opportunities available to prevent or curtail it. In an organization such as ours, with many competing priorities, it is invigorating to me to raise the specter of fraud when our business partners move to introduce new products or services. This enables us to partner with them and share our expertise to better understand the risks and implement controls before we provide the product or service to our customers. 


What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned since becoming a CFE?

While I think the risk of fraud to our business is always there, we have to be careful how we implement controls so that the customer experience is not negatively impacted. Unnecessary or burdensome controls make products or services more complex, which could lead to fewer customers choosing them and that’s not the way we want to reduce our fraud risk.

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