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The Nicest Guy in Fraud Prevention

We have all met fraud fighters we loved. The curious, tenacious type who owned their work. When fraud cases needed working they knocked it out. When rules were misfiring, they came to the rescue. It’s a thing of beauty.

And then we’ve met fraud fighters that were… “more challenging”. Nothing was their fault, they weren’t the best communicators, and their motivation tank was on empty. Listen, that’s not just fraud fighters, in business we meet all kinds of people, personalities and skill sets.

But, have you ever met a unicorn fraud fighter? The fraud fighter that ticked just about every box. Not just skills and personality traits common to a fraud fighter, but common to a kick-ass person. Their expertise in fraud ops was second only to their character and integrity. Oh, and they top it off by being uber successful and still making time to help others.

I guess I buried the lead here… I do know a unicorn fraud fighter… and that man is Frank McKenna.

I met Frank around the time I Co-Founded About-Fraud, 5 years ago. I was aware of his insanely popular blog Frank on Fraud, but he was on the banking side of fraud and up until that point I was working with merchants. About-Fraud had a modest following and I thought to myself, “why in the hell would this dude want to talk to me.” We ended up hopping on a brief call to talk about my ideas for About-Fraud and I learned immediately “why this dude wanted to meet me”.

Because he’s Frank. 

“Oh yeah that’s just Frank”, “Don’t you just love Frank”, “You won’t meet a smarter or nicer guy in fraud prevention than Frank McKenna”… just a subset of quotes I soon learned were common place when describing Frank.

Over the next few years, I had a front row seat to validate all the superlatives being thrown Frank’s way. And five years later I am here to tell you – not a single one of them was wrong. Not a single one of them was exaggerated. Put simply, he is the nicest guy in fraud prevention.

And I think “nice” is a super interesting quality to explore. Because it’s not the first one listed when rattling off traits of successful business folks. Actually, some look at being nice as a liability. They are too busy, focused and driven to be nice. They are too accomplished to be nice. In short, being nice does not help them or their business achieve their goals, therefore it is an expendable personality trait.

What I like about Frank is he flips everyone of those statements on it’s head. Being nice does not mean you are not busy, focused or driven. It means you’ve organized your time in a way you can afford to take extra meetings to help people. It means you are comfortable enough in your own skin that phony bravado isn’t necessary. It means you are comfortable in your own accomplishments that you don’t feel threatened. You realize helping others grow their career and achieve success doesn’t diminish your own – it actually enhances it.

Frank offers his time, expertise and insight whenever he is asked. And not because he’s just strolling around with loads of free time. But because he knows it matters. It’s the only way he can pass on his knowledge and experience to the next generation of fraud fighters.

I often marvel at his ability to crank out amazing Frank on Fraud articles, own a company, be a fraud strategist, be a mentor, and make time for just about anyone who needs his help. People like this are the reason the fraud fighting community flourishes. It’s contagious. He inspires other fraud fighters to make the most of their skills. To take pride in the work they do. And even dare I say, have a little fun.

There’s countless reasons to become a fraud fighter. But it’s not easy. It’s not always glamorous. And it’s a never ending string of tricky problems. Unicorns like Frank McKenna should be celebrated as they lay the groundwork for future generations of fraud fighters… and maybe even open the door for others to elevate to unicorn status.

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Author: PJ Rohall

PJ guides the strategic roadmap. He leverages a strong understanding of the fraud ecosystem, both provider and end-user, and informs feature development. Outside of About-Fraud, PJ is the Head of Fraud Strategy & Education at SEON. He speaks, engages and educates folks on relevant fraud trends and strategies, while continuously learning from the industry and empowering fraud fighters across the globe.