Reports claim that Jack the Ripper trolled the Ten Bells Pub, located in Spitalfields, London, searching for victims. Accounts are unconfirmed, but stories relate the pub to this notorious serial killer and help to fuel the macabre vibe in this part of London. I had the pleasure (or mis-pleasure) of visiting this location and absorbing the dark and gloomy past (and right on cue, it was raining) that is ever present in this area. Inside the pub is a victim board that lists all of the victims of Jack the Ripper and some of the details surrounding their murders.
In academics we speak about victimization and how victims could somehow draw negative behavior to them; this could be by their actions, lack of actions, vibe, personal profile, and many other factors; but at the core of these theories is the thought that victims may be able to adjust their chances of being victimized. Very early on in my career, I was working on a very large scale organized crime ring in NYC which involved multiple carriers and law enforcement agencies. After an exhausting two year investigation, the case was successfully prosecuted, a fantastic result. But one of the most significant lessons I learned in my entire career came from evidence that was secured from inside the medical facility. In one of the back rooms of the medical office, they had their own version of Jack the Rippers victim board and had one entire wall covered in a whiteboard. On the whiteboard was a list of dozens of carriers, claim representatives, investigators, and other details; furthermore, it was color coded to the key of hit (green) and no hit (red). The fraudsters knew who the vulnerable carriers where based on past experiences and other intelligence gleaned; in effect, they had their own victim board and used it quite successfully for years.
How can carriers take action to avoid being on the victim board?? Simple, make sure you are not a soft target, that is, make sure you are doing everything in your abilities to avoid looking like the weak one in the herd. Many of you that have seen my presentation on this topic will recall a slide I show depicting a pack of tigers attacking the weak member of a herd; which is to represent the fraudsters targeting the weak carriers. (Although,in hindsight, I grant too much credit associating fraudsters to tigers, my apologies!) Carriers can showcase successful prosecutions, show activity at conferences, meetings and other counter fraud events, create a strong counter fraud culture, utilize technology for early and quick detection, develop strong anti-fraud wording and post it on websites, forms and other visible areas, and many other approaches. The most important factor is to show visibility in counter fraud and that you will not be an easy target to conquer; requiring additional effort on behalf of the fraudster.
Work with whatever resources you have to create counter fraud strategies that are focused and directly related to your pain points; this will showcase a degree of difficulty that fraudsters move away from. In short, the next time I am at the Ten Bells in London, I hope to not see you on the victim board!