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After nearly two decades of helping organizations of all stripes defend against fraudsters, one thing we can say with certainty is that the world continues to become a more hazardous place to conduct business.

We evolve our tools to help Deter and Detect fraudulent transactions, and the criminal community in turn evolves their skills and finds new and different ways to victimize businesses and individuals. No one is safe! It is shocking how many times we have heard from a church, a school, a charity store or a medical clinic that they received counterfeit money or had a stolen credit card used with them. Or, worse, that an identity thief used their transaction environment to help commit a larger financial fraud against some unknowing victim.

In one recent example, our client, a credit union, told us they had prevented a single person from defrauding them for over $43,000. The fake ID this perpetrator presented was virtually indistinguishable to the naked eye, and they had answers to the “knowledge based” authentication questions the institution used as a safeguard when larger transactions were being conducted.

It should be news to nobody that the many high-profile data breaches in which millions – or even tens of millions – of people have had their Personally Identifying Information (PII) stolen has begun to have a cumulative effect on the identity fraud industry. Essentially, every piece of data needed to replicate a victim’s identity can often be found and purchased online. The bottom line? Virtually every single American has had their PII compromised, and it should be assumed that the data is now for sale on one or more dark markets, for very little money.

What, then, must organizations do to defend themselves?

The answer is not always so simple, and very likely will be different from one company to the next. However, we believe in a fundamental process as the cornerstone of any proper strategy to prevent fraud – verify what they are telling you.

If a customer says they are an account owner, then verify their identity. If they are transacting with you on a mobile app, verify their mobile device. If they present you with a credit card, verify their ID document alongside it. If they pay you with cash, verify the banknotes.

We believe that fighting fraud is a proactive, conscious process.

If you fear that your clients might take offense that they are being scrutinized closely, take comfort in the fact that many studies have held up what we have been saying for more than a decade – your honest customers will appreciate you for protecting their assets, and many will even become evangelists for your business by telling their family, friends and work colleagues how they feel about the secure transaction environment you provide.

FraudFighter™ is the preferred partner and leader in the fight against financial crimes. Combating financial crime is an ongoing process - we have worked to prevent fraud by working alongside our partners in the banking and financial industries, retail, hospitality, and government agencies to thwart these unnecessary and expensive crimes with innovative and inexpensive as well as user–friendly technologies that stop fraud.

By leveraging your industry expertise and our fraud protection controls, your valuable assets will be guarded against fraud from end–to–end with a focus on the key objectives of prevention, detection, and compliance.

As we consider Thought Leadership, let us not only share ideas and information, but also work to create new technologies that fight these costly crimes. Let us continue to collaborate to eliminate issues with a reliable solutions approach so that together we can win the war against financial crime and promote a culture that encourages ethical conduct.

To Your Success,

Arthur Michie

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