Becoming a Better Fraud Fighter

Aug 11, 2023

What's happening Fraud Fighters?


Ever felt like diving into the world of fighting fraud is a bit like setting off on a multi-layered choose your own adventure with no guidance? Well, you're not wrong.


Every fraud fighter's journey has its own chapters, and each one is filled with unique challenges and learning curves.


But when someone says they want to become a fraud fighter, what does that really mean?

Let's investigate further.

Read Time: ~4.09 Minutes


Grow your career through 3 stages

Before you can be better, you need to understand where you are now.


No matter which path led you to fighting fraud you are still going to need to go through 3 different stages of fraud career development. You need to focus on both the art and business of your craft.


While you’re making your way through these stages, remember that mastering the art involves honing your intuition, improving investigative skills, and understanding the nuances of fraudulent behavior.


From the business side — it’s more than just thinking. It demands a grasp of strategic planning, risk management, and ensuring that fraud prevention aligns with the company’s overall goals.

Beginner Exploration


As you break into fraud, you are in explorer mode.


Everything feels unfamiliar and you’re piecing things together slowly. You have very little knowledge and pattern recognition. The benefit of this stage is you can progress quickly, and everyone loves the satisfaction of quick progress. It’s really easy to be a consumer in this stage and take in as much information as possible.


Problem is you can only read so many books, take so many courses, and read so many LinkedIn posts. You need to take action.


Once you’ve narrowed down you what you want to explore for your next step, it’s time to build your toolkit and understand how fighting fraud really works.

Tactical Mastery


Each career path require a different toolset of skills.


Within the realm of fraud prevention, while there’s a foundational skill set everyone draws upon, the nuances of mastering these skills vary depending on the role. A fraud specialist requires a different approach than a content moderator, and both differ from an analyst or someone in product.


The harsh truth about this stage…


Expect to dedicate a substantial amount of time in this phase. Becoming an expert won’t happen overnight.


In any given path into fraud, there is way more to learn you probably realized when you were in the first stage.


But here’s the trap, there will come a time we’re you’ve gotten your reps in. Once you’ve mastered the tactics, what made you successful in this stage won’t make you successful in the next stage.

Expert Thinking


Most fraud fighters never make it to this stage.


Some fraud fighters never want to make it to this stage.


I won’t lie, the growth journey hasn’t been easy for me. Switching from doing the same old investigations to really thinking about the bigger picture — It’s been challenging. Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to see the whole fraud-fighting craft through a new lens. I’ve been trying to push myself out of my comfort zone, but that’s led me to my role I’m in today.


Here’s the thing…


You don’t just want to be thinking about thinking. That’s when you need to tap back into those tactical mastered skills, deliberately figure out solutions, and then roll up your sleeves to make those solutions work in real life.


Now that you have a sense of where you stand. You have a starting point.


Position yourself as better


Better can mean a lot of different things.


When I get asked “how do I become a better fraud fighter?” It gets pretty hard to answer. My response requires some context. Without a detailed understanding of where you are in the 3 stages of growth, it becomes challenging to offer precise guidance. As you now recognize, each stage has its own set of skills to truly be “better”.


And there are a handful of ways you can be better than you competition.

“Better” Data


Where some teams may lean heavily on opinions without the support of tangible data, ensure your business case is constructed on a solid foundation of data-driven insights.


If some teams are overwhelming with excessive data, differentiate yourself by presenting a business case centered on 1 pivotal fact, ensuring it’s easily comprehensible.


“Better” Story


If everyone is just spitting facts and opinions, carve out a distinct space by narrating a unique story that underscores the problem at hand.


If you competition gets too caught up in the theatrics of the story, reframe the conversation by making it concise and blending facts with insightful commentary.


“Better” Clarity


Recognizing that many teams often convolute problems to sound more intellectual, strive for simplicity. Aim to articulate the problem so powerfully that a single sentence resonates deeply.


If you find other teams, over simplifying the issue raised, drive your point forward with specificity.


“Better” Insight


If teams seem trapped in an internal echo chamber, introduce fresh perspectives from beyond the organization or even the industry, widening the scope of the discussion.


Contrarily, if your competition is using broad opinions, be the one that redirects focus onto one pivotal insight.


“Better” Context


If everyone is just giving advice or sharing their opinions, you should be the one to give context as to why your advice is different. One small tweak can add more credibility in your argument.


If others are overly centered on their own perspectives, illustrate the broader impact or benefits of your standpoint.


“Better” Argument


Most of your competition is going to lead with what the business should be doing. Challenge the status quo and lead with what not to do — and fail as a result.


are overly negative or restrictive in their approach of why things can’t be done, present proactive, constructive solutions.


“Better” Organization


When faced with a strong business case that’s unfortunately cluttered, differentiate yourself by presenting a well-organized and aesthetically engaging argument.


If competitors overly simplify or streamline their presentation, dive deeper, providing rich detail where necessary.


“Better” For the Audience


If other teams frame the conversation about the company in a broad perspective, you can stand out by framing the conversation for you audience in a extremely specific way — use their words, their perspectives, and their goals.


If your others are too focused on a niche audience segment, broaden the convo to encompass a diverse array of internal stakeholders.

These are different tools to use at your disposal. There isn’t one right answer. Often, you can use all of these tools together, and you’ll find yourself using both sides of the tool depending on the situation your find yourself in.

Learn your competition.

Use these tools.

Be “better.”

That’s it.

See you again next Friday in your inbox.

​Brian

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