Peruvian native Tomasita Pazos Aurich’s dedication to the anti-fraud profession has led her to work through adversity to attain her goal of creating the ACFE’s most recently formed chapter in South America. As president of the Lima Chapter, Pazos Aurich hopes to unite her peers in the fight against fraud. Pazos Aurich is also an operations security manager at Banco de Crédito del Perú (BCP) in Lima.
Why did you decide to enter the anti-fraud field?
The devastating consequences to businesses and society due to fraud made me realize the importance of contributing in this field. That, combined with the nature of fraud, which is constantly changing, reaffirmed my commitment to entering this field. I always aimed to perform a job which was both highly challenging and creative; job characteristics someone definitely finds as an anti-fraud professional.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Lima, Perú. At 17 I was sent to boarding school in the UK. I enjoyed the experience so much that I managed to convince my parents to let me stay there to attend university, and I ended up staying there for seven years.
What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
I consider forming the ACFE Lima Chapter to be my greatest achievement to date. This is because when I began studying to become a CFE my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Instead of making me abandon my goal, this news was a huge source of strength. My dad´s condition reassured me of the fact that life is too short and that we must follow our dreams.
I remember studying for the CFE Exam sitting next to my dad while he was going through chemotherapy and sharing with him the things I was learning. Coincidentally, the day I finished gathering all the necessary signatures for the petition to form the chapter was the day my dad passed away. This taught me an important lesson that in times of adversity we are able to accomplish things we otherwise wouldn´t have thought of.
How has the CFE benefited your career?
The CFE certification has benefited me in a different number of ways. It has broadened my body of knowledge to do a better job, thus increasing my career potential. It has allowed me to both develop and strengthen a network of contacts, all of which allow me to share experiences with many valuable people in the field. It also allows me to stay updated with current trends in the field through continuous education.
What are the benefits of serving as a chapter leader?
Serving as a chapter leader allows you to further develop your leadership skills as well as your network of contacts. Most importantly, it allows you to learn from all the people you have the opportunity to interact with as you share experiences. Personally it is highly rewarding because through offering high-quality anti-fraud education you are making a contribution to society.
What goals would you like to help the chapter accomplish?
I would like the ACFE Lima Chapter to help strengthen the anti-fraud community in Perú by allowing Peruvians to obtain the CFE certification through high quality training, as well as to promote a space where anti-fraud professionals can meet to share experiences, learn from each other and fight fraud.
Do you have any advice for other chapter leaders?
My advice would be to gather chapter support from both the public and private sectors as well as try to recruit professionals with different backgrounds. This allows chapter members to view and fight fraud from different perspectives.
What are your favorite activities and hobbies outside of work?
I love spending time with my family. My husband, who is a music journalist, enriches my life by sharing with me many different stories about the history of rock and roll. Also, I love watching my 5 year -old daughter grow up because she teaches me the beauty of everyday life. I also enjoy travelling, going to concerts and shopping.
What is your personal motto? Does it have any special meaning?
“Never let your fears stand in the way of your dreams.” It just inspires me to be positive and to fight for all the things I want to achieve in life.