Midland Fraud Forum Annual Conference
Earlier this week, we attended the Midlands Fraud Forum (MFF) and to our great disappointment, the key takeaway for the team - the actions being taken are simply not good enough.
There was a presentation by a Detective Superintendent, who provided the now routine story of how steps were being taken and plans were in place, however as one attendee pointed out, this was a very similar message that was being given several years ago. The UKs fraud stats continue to increase year on year regardless of plans, good will or best intentions. Mindful that the questioner had previously held the seat of Detective Superintendent and had actually filled the role of the current presenter,
Next presentation … this time, a whistle blower. Without retelling the story in full, a national press campaign had to be set in motion in order to have the concerns taken seriously. The net results being, that the director in question is still in place. Not a great deal changing in fact.
When I consider this being applied to my own field of Anti-Money Laundering, I wonder how the various law enforcement agencies will cope with the increase in Suspicious Activity Reports considering the very latest legislation. As a society, we appear to have a tolerance of fraud that other crimes simply don’t enjoy and what’s worse, this is a problem that exploits the most vulnerable in our society.
There is a simple, and uncomfortable truth here - law enforcement will never be able to ‘cure Fraud’ and thus it becomes ever more important for all of use to focus on prevention. At the conference, it was clear that there are several organisations that are actively engaging in the fight against fraud with new and more inventive methods of ensuring that transactions are legitimate. I proudly count W2 Global Data in this group.
ID verification, strong customer authentication, document verification are all examples of potential tools which, when applied correctly, will disrupt illicit activities . As a fan of golf, I note that, you need more than one club to win the game – the same in true with fraud prevention. We are not going to ‘win’ this fight with 1 tool (or club) – a suite of options is needed for different circumstances and use cases. Recall that we are looking to stop an industry worth an estimated £190Bn per year. This is not going to be done without board level commitments to their customer base to protect them.
W2 provides several anti-fraud options through a single API making it easier for organisations to apply the right tool at the right time – more tools are coming and the easier that we can make it for businesses to protect their clients, the harder it will be for fraudsters to exploit loopholes and vulnerabilities.
The good fight continues.
Product Manager, W2 Global Data Limited