Creating Fraud Fighting Culture
NOTE: If this seems disjointed or unorganized it is because these are just general thoughts on the topic of creating a fraud fighting culture.
Societies all seem to be on the same page when it comes to the crime of theft. Different cultures around the world have different ways of dealing with it (some harsher than others). We need the things we earn or purchase to remain ours, or we move towards complete chaos and moral collapse.
We don't seem to have the same standards when it comes to the disguised theft that is fraud. There isn't the same reaction, partially because of the shadow work that criminals do. But if you asked, most of their mothers would be embarrassed by a fraudster's lack of integrity and disregard for other humans.
This calls into question on whether or not we are a fraud fighting culture. I think the answer is currently no. There isn't enough education and exposure to the schemes, and impact of those schemes. That isn't to say there aren't a lot of people and organizations trying (there are). The downstream effects seem to go unnoticed or justified in some way. But what if we were a fraud fighting culture, and how can we get there?
If we were a fraud fighting culture, we would see less victimization. Consumers and businesses would be more in tuned with tactics, deterring them. This, in turn, might increase the intensity of certain attacks, especially against vulnerable populations. That would then drive deeper investigations and harsher sentencing against criminals. Those participating in mule activity and scam surfing would have more responsibility for their actions rather than hide behind victimization.
How we get there starts with the fraud fighting entities. From individuals to organizations, there are passionate people who believe in the fight. Creating a culture of fraud fighters requires passion and belief.
Larger organizations may have an easier time with internal fraud fighting culture. Smaller orgs, because of less people, may not have enough connection points. Those in smaller organizations may need to get outside of their company to connect with others combating the crime. Gather with like minded people to share ideas, best practices, fraud war stories, and more.
Creating a fraud fighting culture starts within the fraud team. It then needs to extend to others in the company, both at low and high levels. A customer service representative should have knowledge of fraud risk just like an executive should. What they do with the information will be different though.
Once this mindset and culture permeates the organization, it can extend to the customer base. Fraud is often a topic that is shied away from because it is negative. That is a fallacy that needs addressed. People need protected (actually protected). That does not happen with gimmicks or impressive words. It starts with empowering customers with education.
From customers we move on to the community. This is two-fold. Fraud fighting culture in the community is primarily about equipping people against fraud risk. However, it is also about influencing people to not commit it. We are operating in a place where fraud is desensitized, glorified, recruited for, and radicalized. Let's call this the Fraud Engagement Process (detailed below). If we can turn people away from this process, we can see less fraud attacks.
One of my favorite movies corresponds to one of my favorite books and historical figures. In the movie Amazing Grace (2006), William Wilberforce is a member of the British Parliament in the early 1800s. A strong abolitionist, he fights against the slave trade. To do this, he has to win public opinion on the horrors and brutality of slavery. Those in his circle create a culture around this. They write about it, boycott sugar in their tea, wear pins, preach against it, recreate the dimensions of a slave's space on a ship, etc. It takes years to accomplish, but the abolition of slavery in Great Britain occurred through multiple acts in 1806 and 1807, nearly 60 years before the United States followed through during the Civil War. The point, it took a concerted effort from the culture. If we could generate half the fervor that the abolitionists did, how much fraud could be abolished? Granted, it is a much different evil...but it is still evil.
We are already creating culture at some level when it comes to fraud education and awareness. But to be competitive with the cheap wealth that crime offers, our efforts must go farther. Social media outlets need to stand behind stopping fraud and promoting anti-fraud behaviors. Government needs to stand up to the crime through laws and law enforcement (empowering law enforcement professionals to help cut down on the crime). Industries such as banking and financial services that experience fraud first and second hand need to partner together in new ways, as well as to educate their customers and consumers in general.
What we need right now is nothing short of a revolution or revival. Those might seem like extreme terms to use, but the subject calls for it. We are to the point where words like Fraudpocalypse (FraudWit), Fraud Armageddon (FrankonFraud), and Scampocalypse (Aite) are not exactly commonplace, but easily understandable.
Create Fraud Fighting Culture in whatever capacity you can. Whether you are an anti-fraud professional or not, you can be a Fraud Fighter who helps promote needed change to educate and empower others against the crime.
It is the mission of this website to provide fraud education and awareness in an alternative or humorous way. For those who have spent time checking out content on the site, you will notice that most of the material is specific to bank fraud and consumer scams. That can expand to other areas of fraud. If you have an idea for a post, presentation, or video, please reach out.