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Groundbreaking Survey Will Delve into What Front-line Fraud Fighters Are Feeling and Facing

About-Fraud, a global community for fraud fighters, has partnered with ID Insight on a groundbreaking research project designed to better understand the roles, motivations, and expectations of fraud operations analysts across the U.S. financial services sector.

Traditionally, fraud-related surveys have sought information and opinions from C-suite professionals or consumers. To our knowledge, this is the first survey designed to understand what front-line fraud fighters are feeling and facing as they work to stop criminal activity at their financial institutions.

“It’s critical that we understand exactly what front-line fraud fighters are facing every day on the job,” said Ronald Praetsch, co-founder, About-Fraud. “That’s how organizations like ours can provide better support – whether that be in the form of education, content, or collaborative communities.”

In preparation for the online quantitative survey, which launches after Labor Day, ID Insight conducted multiple interviews with seasoned fraud fighters to identify the topics that would be the highest priority to investigate.

“There were definitely some common themes that emerged,” said Adam Elliott, ID Insight president and co-founder. “The one that stood out to me is how passionate fraud fighters are about their work. These are people who truly want to make a difference; they are driven to protect customers from falling prey to bad actors.”

Not only are fraud fighters passionate, but they are also intense. One fraud fighter compared the intensity and seriousness of his job to a chess game, where each side is trying to prevent their opponent from gaining the advantage. “We only win the game when we stop the fraud,” the respondent said.

Common themes among fraud fighters

Respondents we interviewed were eager to discuss their feelings about fraudsters, their career paths, and the structure of their departments. The discussions also included several common themes focused on frustrations and challenges, including:

Workload – Several fraud fighters talked about being short staffed and not having enough systems in place to keep pace with fraud-case volume. Those who work at larger institutions said they were able to pull from other fraud areas when they got too busy, whereas smaller institutions had to focus on prioritizing cases, knowing some fraud would get through.

“We are performing triage,” said one fraud fighter at a smaller institution. “We look at what’s coming in and then try to decide whether it is worse than any of the other cases we have going.”

Customer Experience – Fraud fighters understand the need to provide seamless digital experiences for customers, but they warn that this is creating more opportunities for fraudsters. Several called for collaboration among departments to ensure safety and security remained a top priority in the design of customer experiences.

“My job is to help close the gaps and create collaborative solutions between a fraud focus and customer experience,” said one fraud fighter.

Collaboration – Nearly every fraud fighter said that their department was among the most collaborative in their institution. They stress the need to continuously share information to stay ahead of new fraud vectors and schemes, and many participated in organizations and councils that helped them stay apprised of industry best practices.

A few fraud fighters mentioned that regulations were often a barrier to the kind of sharing that would help them be more effective. As one person said, “It’s difficult knowing that the fraudsters are collaborating, and we can’t.”

Questions for their peers

As part of the qualitative interviews, we asked fraud fighters what they’d like to ask their industry peers. The questions tended to fall under the areas of operations, trends, and customers.

Operations

How is your program staffed?

What does your organizational chart look like?

What type of training are you receiving?

Which fraud mitigation tools are you using? Are they working?

Trends

What kinds of fraud are you dealing with right now? What’s your best practice for stopping it?

Are you seeing high rates of synthetic fraud?

How do you keep ahead of emerging trends? Which resources do you recommend?

What is happening with your fraud rates/fraud losses?

Customers

What is your institution doing to train customers to protect their credentials and avoid scams?

How have customer experience efforts affected fraud? What are you doing about it?

How are your tellers and call center staff trained to recognize fraud attempts?

The fraud fighter’s wish list

Because part of the goal of the ID Insight/About-Fraud survey is to understand the specific needs of fraud fighters, we asked respondents: “If you could wave a magic wand, what would you wish for as it relates to your job?” Most wish-list requests fell into five categories:  

  1. More, better data
  2. A centralized fraud and identity system
  3. Better fraud-fighter training
  4. Fraud-prevention education for consumers
  5. Digital customer experiences that balance risk and reward

Tell us what you think

If you are a fraud operations analyst or manage a team of fraud analysts, we want to hear from you! Click here if you’re willing to participate in this groundbreaking effort. You’ll be asked to provide your email address so we can send you a link to the survey the week of September 13, 2021.

Survey responses will be anonymous, but at the end of the survey, respondents will have the opportunity to provide an email to receive the survey’s key findings as well as an invitation to an exclusive webinar hosted by About-Fraud and ID Insight. Additionally, a donation to The Knoble, a non-profit global network of experts with a passion for preventing financial crime that harms the vulnerable, will be made by ID Insight on behalf of all participants.

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Author: Jack Sundstrom
Jack Sundstrom is Chief Product and Marketing Officer for ID Insight. For the past 25 years he has built advanced analytic solutions on behalf of Fortune 500 clients across a variety of industries including financial services, telecommunications, retail, consumer packaged goods and automotive. Contact him at jack.sundstrom@idinsight.com.