I learned a lot at last month’s North East Fraud Forum conference, it was a great event. One of the things that has stuck in my mind though was a simple but clever idea from the police presenter. His issue was that the word fraud somehow downgrades or sanitises what it actually is. Fraud is a crime and should be called out as such.
Don’t use the F word, use the C word.
There was a lot of talk during the conference about communication or rather the lack of it. Those suffering from fraud (crime) don’t tell each other and learn the lessons while those who commit fraud (crime) are in constant communication.
The best thing that can be done to help tackle fraud (crime) is to talk about it more. Let people know that is happening, what tactics are being used, what can be done to counteract it, what works or doesn’t and expose the problem to the wider public.
He suggested that we need to make talking about fraud (crime) more of a habit, just like cleaning our teeth or washing our hands. Everyone (most of us) washes their hands when they touch something dirty. The thought of the dirt, even if we can’t see it, makes us feel uncomfortable until we have washed it away.
So it should be when you become aware of fraud (crime). To wash it away we should tell two people about what has happened. We should make it a habit. In this way the word will get out, fraud will be seen for the crime it is, people will become aware of how they can fight back and hopefully the tide will turn against it.
Remember, don’t wash fraud away, when you come across it tell two people about it. Make it a habit.