#15 Just do it … but be prepared!

By Journey

Let’s face it – all of us are afraid of technology to some degree, from minor hesitation to upgrade an app to major panic when our Teams or Zoom presentation in a live webinar fails. Yes, technology has taken over, but we need to ensure it serves us the way we want.

Choosing data wisely

Resolving fraud is simple when you use the RIGHT data. As of now, it is not possible to physically visit remote locations far away in order to understand indications of fraud. It also means that you have to use data to a much larger extent than we have done in the past, with the intention that resolution will improve your company’s financial performance. With this in mind set-up is also about getting the practicalities of data right, so you can ensure that you have enough data.

We have developed three basic steps to help you choose wisely:

  1. Undertake some ‘casting’ and only involve people who you really need
  2. Arrange the data in a manner that ensures you really can gain something from what you uncover
  3. Prep yourself and open up your mind to interpret, but moreover, believe the results.

You may ask how we deal with the data streams at B4 Investigate. We work with three sets of ‘right’ data:

  • Data streams that come out of B4 Aim or B4 Lightning Aim
    … to understand the context for the organisation
  • Data streams that come out of our Fraud Detective Challenge
    … to discover what kind of fraud detective you are.
  • Key money flows from B4 PreCrime
    … with data streams from ERP and similar systems

The end result is money from wasteful costs is recovered (or better still not spent in the first place), your company culture is improved, and your leadership truly reflects an organisation that leads and stand up to the UN Sustainable Development Goal.

The Fraud Detective School is coming to you!

We are now refining our learning approach with Fraud Detective School Masterclasses, a series of virtual-led online courses to suit all levels with our mission to “Change the world with us TODAY!” In the first wave we will provide two tracks; “Becoming a Fraud Detective” and “Becoming a Fraud Data Scientist”.

More information is published on: https://b4investigate.com/fds/

#B4 Events – The Mountains Are High and the Emperor is Far Away

By Event

How to pinpoint and resolve fraud in places far away from your head office *Chinese proverb (shān gāo, huángdì yuan) thought to have originated during the Yuan dynasty about the fraud which takes place when the bosses cannot see what is going on. 

Together with AsiaVerify

Thursday 22nd April 2021
(09.00 – 09.50 Central European Time)

Discover and learn:

  • Remote fraud detection and investigation in the post COVID era. Leverage the power of your own teams with local insights into countries where you have business and operation which you cannot easily reach.
  • Protect your enterprises and ventures in China: The organisation of corporate data in China, how privacy protects the individual. How to protect your own organisation by doing business with the companies and people you can trust, by verifying their credentials in a real time and legal manner.  Live demonstration and feel free to bring your own examples*.

*The world is changing and should always adapt to progress. As part of this workshop all delegates will receive 14 days access to AsaVerify’s portal so you can perform your own instant due diligence into any companies on the Chinese mainland in either Chinese or Roman alphabet.

Facilitated by:

  • Ficoal Dong (AsiaVerify)
  • Nigel Iyer (B4 Investigate)
  • John Wallhoff (B4 Investigate)
  • Kevin Fu (AsiaVerify)

#B4 Events – The B4 Pilots Community – Navigate Fraud

By EventNo Comments

The B4 “Pilots” Community

Roundtable Discussion for B4 clients only

Monday 19 April 2021
(15.00 – 15.50 Central European Time)

Discussion topics

  • Effective ways to train my organisation to recognise fraud
  • How do we asses fraud risk early and detect it
  • Investigations in the post COVID era

We rely on your feedback to keep pushing us to improve. We will also give you a preview of some of the new developments and features.

Facilitated by John Wallhoff and Nigel Iyer

The B4 Pilots Community is where B4’s customers and B4 PreCrime subscribers can meet their peers, share experiences and learn from one another, as well as tell us what to do next!

#14 Resolve fast

By Journey

We welcome the wave of increasing whistleblower protection that is sweeping across Europe.  People who speak up about fraud should always be able to do it without fear. At the same time, we should focus on more effective ways to discover and resolve fraud early ourselves.

Recognise and resolve fraud…and keep calm!

When we are told we have been defrauded, we tend to react in one of two ways. Either we stay in denial as long as we can, and maybe beat up the messenger a bit, or when we are convinced that we have been cheated, our blood pressure goes up…we get angry, feel abused or even betrayed.  Very rarely do we sit back calmly and say to ourselves “well…after all there is so much fraud around in the world, and we have not taken it seriously enough until now…so something like this was bound to happen…. but it’s a good lesson and we can learn from it, once we have resolved the current situation at hand”.  Instead, even though we know deep down what a mature approach is, our most common knee-jerk reaction is a sledgehammer one flavoured with zero tolerance: Find and punish the culprits, find them NOW…and show no mercy whatsoever!

But lets us do a quick reality check. Six percent of world GDP in 2019 tells us that the cost of fraud in organisations is rather common.  So, unless we take specific steps to nip it in the bud early, then it´s part of life, similar to the litter we don´t want on our doorstep or the unnecessary mess in our kitchens.  We can have as many rules against it as we like, but if we too don´t do anything about it ourselves too, then it’s going to happen.

When it comes to fraud in organisations, “resolving it fast” is about each and every one of us having our ears to the ground, helping to recognise it, and containing the damage before it spreads.  In this way every organisation will recognise, react to, and resolve fraud before it leads to lots of non-essential costs or even collapse.

Are you a fraud detective who wants to help in cleaning up fraud too?

We firmly believe that everyone is a competent fraud detective, just like everyone can pick up litter and put it in the bin or keep the office-kitchen clean!  From years of experience, we have noticed that there are different Fraud Detective types.  So why don´t you take the Fraud Detective Challenge and find out how holistic, technocratic, transactional, or intuitive a Fraud Detective you could be?  You can take the 5-minute test by going to:  https://b4investigate.com/fd-challenge/

#13 Don’t let fraud add to the infrastructure costs

By Journey

Be it home-extensions or renovation, advanced communications, or public interest projects such safer modes of transport, sanitation, and buildings…we know that typically these “infrastructure” projects usually cost more than the original budget.  What me might not realise is that it has been estimated that around 10% of project overruns is due to some kind of fraud.  Whether it’s our own money, or we are indirectly footing the bill, fraud is a cost nobody needs.

Achieving fraud-free infrastructures through empowerment…

“Infrastructure” is in all our lives.  This could be “traditional” infrastructure such as essential facilities and systems which enable our community to function, or the electricity which powers our home or the highways on which we travel.  Or it could be the fast-evolving post COVID infrastructure such as the “new” IT systems on which we increasingly rely, the information highways we constantly cruise, virtual environments, and buildings, where we work…and pretty soon holographic infrastructure which powers our meetings

So why does the infrastructure industry have a poor track record when it comes to fraud, estimated to be around 10% of a project’s cost or a company’s revenue?  Here are three reasons why projects attract fraud, from B4’s infrastructure expert:

  1. Infrastructure projects have very long supply chains with many mark-ups.
  2. Infrastructure projects are complex, involving many disciplines.
  3. Whether we are leaders, politicians, or just regular members of the public, we tend to love “vanity projects”. But the desire to achieve leaves blind spots and whether it’s home improvements or great leaps forward, fixed price infrastructure projects are uncommon.

Fraudsters today are becoming more desperate and sophisticated but at the same time the infrastructure industry brings out the best in us.  The industry embraces the UN sustainable development goals faster than other.  Take progress in health, safety, and environment over recent decades for example. It makes sense to empower everyone, including project managers and engineers with the requisite “fraud detective skills” to help reduce and remove a wholly unnecessary cost.

Forthcoming B4 Fraud Community events

Watch this space for upcoming community events including “Tall Mountains – Emperor Far Away” …how to keep good control of those areas of your organisation to which you cannot travel to, plus a special event for community members on latest developments and B4 Precrimee

#12 Beat the fraud blues!

By Journey

This week, the BBC called out fraud as “an epidemic”, “national security threat” and “no-one’s priority”.  Maybe its justifiable strong language with recent global surveys estimating the cost of fraud on companies and organisations at 6% of world GDP… and rising.  But why use language that spreads additional panic and fear when behind every problem is a big bright opportunity?  Also talk about “red flags” is depressing, not to say disrespectful to some countries.  It’s time to perceive every potential fraud as a blue spot of opportunity to be seized before it spreads.  So, don’t be idle! In the words of “Eric Idle”:…always look on the bright side of life…

Turn the bright blue spots to your advantage…

Zooming in on the blue spots of fraud early, understanding them and then transforming “waste into value” is neither myth nor hocus pocus.  But it does feel a little bit magical when our clients use our tools and data to home in, and transform the blue spots of fraud, without having to travel to far-off places. Here are five tips that always beat the fraud blues in this new age

  1. Empower every hand-on-deck in your organisation to see fraud and stamp it out.
  2. The best way for anyone to open their eyes to the threat of fraud is to see it as an opportunity from the point of view of a criminal…without becoming one of course!
  3. Be curious, take an interest and follow where the money goes and comes from…be it a bill, a bank statement, or a budget, because if you are curious you will always recognise the fraudulent blue notes.
  4. Leverage technology, algorithms, and data as much as you can but always stay in-charge and be humane (with a focus on “u”).
  5. Develop your robust PreCrime mentality aimed at defeating fraud itself, rather than focussing on people who might commit crimes in the future.

Algorithms + Data = Insight

The COVID pandemic has pushed the human race to work together to find new vaccines, as well as better solutions to almost everything…such as going digital in a month.  Data oils the new machinery.  The last 12 months have been the most rewarding ever, as we pushed to develop sharper algorithms and tools for both Fraud PreCrime and more efficient, remote investigations. “I guess that´s why they call it the blues…”, and most people can agree Sir Elton John did bring light to the hearts of millions of people.  We humbly welcome you to be part of our blue spot journey transforming problems to opportunities and a shared dream of a fraud free world!

#11 Inspirational stories from this year

By Journey

Pandemics which trigger financial downturns (banks like Lehman Bros in 2008 and COVID-19 this year) will pass but at a lingering financial cost.  We can cushion any ensuing financial hardships by removing the unnecessary cost of fraud in society.  And there is no better time than now to do it.  A recent global study put the cost of fraud committed by outsiders and insiders together at a staggering 6% of GDP in 2019 alone, and this cost seems to be rising.

How to vaccinate against the costs of fraud in 2021!

Everyone’s cost of fraud can be almost eradicated, but the crucial ingredient is you!  For us, 2020 was one of the most inspiring years ever, because this year so many of our friends and clients turned words into action.  Here’s a selection of experiences we are grateful for and wish to share:

At least 3 global organisations with which we worked, a UN body, one of the world’s oldest banks and a professional body used the mantra “everyone’s a fraud detective” and empowered employees and members with practical tools to root out and deal with fraud early

Days after COVID-19 hit his organisation, the enigmatic CEO of a major NGO led the charge to ensure that every penny went to those who needed it in some of the poorest countries, blocking fraud and doing it in a way which to gain trust and teamwork and develop shared insights.

Deploying precrime tools and techniques, many diligent and passionate clients across the world have taken up the challenge to root out excessive costs and waste in their organisations and prevent future fraud. Sometimes it was just about taking that little bit of extra care to spot an extra line on an invoice from a supplier or a number out of place on a payslip.In the wake of alarming letters, top management, did not panic but calmly gained much needed insights, pinpointed the root causes and aimed to protect the innocent and whistleblowers alike!

Turning bad news to good news…from Red Flags to “Blue Spots”

For years we have called indicators of fraud “red flags”.  But the term red flag is laden with negative and sometimes frightening connotations…and is even a little disrespectful to certain countries.

The above demonstrate that finding the indicators of fraud early, stops any spread, will save costs, and help every organisation become more resilient to fraud than ever!  We think it’s worth repeating that well-worn phrase – it’s not a problem – it’s an opportunity!  Next month:  How to find and turn theblue spotsto your advantage!