In a recent call to action, both the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) and the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) have issued strong warnings to casinos regarding a sinister scam aimed at casino employees. This alarming scheme involves manipulating cash cage workers through phone calls, with the caller pretending to be a high-ranking casino executive. The fake executive then directs the employee to take money from the casino and transport it to another location. The threat of “negative consequences” if they refuse to comply and the promise of a supposed bonus for their cooperation make it even more manipulative!
A new scam scheme targeting workers
But that’s not all; the scheme doesn’t stop at phone calls. The employee receives a follow-up text message on their personal cell phone, confirming the deceitful instructions. This combination of pressure and false incentives puts casino workers, particularly cage cashiers, supervisors, managers, security staff, and gaming pit personnel, in a vulnerable position.
The NGCB emphasizes that it’s crucial for casinos to spread awareness about this scam among their workforce. This cunning tactic has been disturbingly effective, causing significant financial losses to casinos. The scheme’s sophistication and success in deceiving casino employees highlight the need for swift and effective countermeasures.
Attacks are already made
In the face of these warnings, two instances have already led to arrests. In one case, Erik Gutierrez, aged 23, posed as the owner of a Las Vegas casino hotel. He managed to convince a Circa Hotel & Casino cage supervisor to hand over large sums of money for false reasons. The supervisor, assuming the recipient was a casino attorney, transported the cash to an off-site location. Fortunately, law enforcement managed to recover around $850,000 of the stolen money.
A similar incident occurred in Michigan, where Danika Young, a 38-year-old cash cage supervisor at Four Winds Hartford Casino, allegedly stole $700,000. Falling for the scam, she transported the money to a location in Gary, Indiana. The missing funds have yet to be fully recovered.
The future looks dim for casinos’ security, but something could be done
The NIGC echoes the concern, emphasizing that both commercial and tribal gaming operations have been targeted by this fraudulent activity. They urge tribal officials to educate employees who have access to cash assets about this scam and the appropriate response.
The rise of advanced technology, including artificial intelligence, raises the stakes of such scams. The NGCB underlines that enhanced security measures are imperative to safeguard employee information and casino assets from this growing threat.
In the rapidly evolving landscape of scams and cyber threats, it’s crucial for casinos and employees alike to stay vigilant and informed. The collaboration between gaming regulators and casinos is crucial to prevent further financial losses and protect the integrity of the industry. As the battle between scammers and security measures continues, casino workers must remain cautious and empowered to recognize and thwart such deceptive schemes.
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