First Senior Financial Group's Phil Cannella Interviews FBI Cyber-Crime Expert on The Crash Proof Retirement Show™

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Head of FBI Cyber Squad talks to Phil Cannella about online defamation, Internet fraud that targets seniors, and the FBI’s determination to track down “anonymous” cyber-criminals.

On Saturday, July 2, the Crash Proof Retirement Show™ will air a one-of-a-kind interview with FBI Supervisory Special Agent Brian Herrick of the Philadelphia FBI Cyber Squad. Taped on June 22 at the show’s world-class studio in King of Prussia, PA, the segment features some hard-hitting questions by First Senior CEO and founder Phil Cannella—and some equally forthright answers from Special Agent Herrick. Covered in the lively, wide-ranging discussion are key issues relating to Internet fraud, cyber-defamation/bullying, counterfeit drugs, sexual exploitation of minors and other pressing matters that are ever-more relevant in today’s increasingly Web-based society.

Among the specific topics covered in the interview:

  •     The growing footprint of Internet crime. As Herrick told Phil Cannella, “In 2011, it’s estimated there will be 2 billion people on the Internet, so where you’ve seen this increase in population online, you’ve also seen an increase in the criminal element as well.”
  •     Counterfeit drugs. “People looking to get low-cost access to pharmaceuticals may be attracted to web sites that look to sell pharmaceuticals at unreasonably low costs,” said Herrick. “The concern there is the possibility of counterfeit pharmaceuticals.”
  •     Anonymity. Herrick conceded that the natural anonymity of the Internet is “one of the biggest challenges for law enforcement,” and that the Web “emboldens [people] to do certain things they would never do in person.” Still, Herrick emphasized that whether or not a crime is committed anonymously, “You’re still committing the exact same crime.”
  •     The doggedness of the FBI in pursuing its prey. In the end, Herrick restated the FBI motto: “We always get our man or woman. There’s a lot of use of the Internet to perpetrate either fraud or scams but the technology of the U.S. government will come down on those individuals doing that.”

The Crash Proof Retirement Show™ is the two-year-old crown jewel of First Senior Financial Group, which hosts educational events that inform people at or near retirement about protecting their nest eggs. The show airs in two Saturday time slots in the Philadelphia region: 8-9 a.m. on 990AM (WNTP) and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on 1210AM (WPHT).

Clients of First Senior Financial Group frequently are able to realize double-digit gains in rising markets, and the company’s average client realized 7% gains even during the market crash of 2008. Company founder Phil Cannella has appeared in numerous publications, including "Newsweek" and "Philadelphia"; he also is a frequent guest on regional and national TV shows dealing with financial topics of interest to retirees. Particularly satisfying to Mr. Cannella are the major new studies that validate the crash-proofing methods that he champions and has implemented for years in working with hundreds of retirees throughout the greater Philadelphia region.

Unfortunately, Mr. Cannella also has had some recent exposure to cyber-crime: He and First Senior Financial Group have weathered a six-month onslaught of cyber-defamation at the hands of an unnamed attacker or attackers. “That’s why,” says Mr. Cannella, “aside from presenting valuable information to the public in our interview with Agent Herrick, it was reassuring to hear that the FBI takes these matters as seriously as it does.

“We’re taking on a huge financial industry that’s stacked against the American retiree,” concludes Mr. Cannella. “Naturally we’re going to make waves. But competitors or one or two disgruntled ex-employees with an ax to grind should not have a free hand to maliciously libel a well-meaning firm that already faces the challenge of being a David in a world of financial Goliaths.”


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Steve Salerno

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