It’s Consumer Fraud Week


3 Kinds of Fraudsters

It is National Consumer Fraud week. It appears we are wising up. According to the ACCC scam reports have doubled from 2009 to 2010 but money reported lost has decreased slightly. This is good news. But that doesn’t mean other kinds of fraud have decreased.

You should report a suspected scam to scamwatch.

When we think of scams we usually think of smooth talking professional predators peddling investment schemes and stealing identities. Or we think of badly worded emails.

The truth is business fraud is most often committed by employees taking an opportunity. This can be by shoplifting, padding expense accounts, pocketing sales proceeds or stealing customer credit card numbers.

However, there is more to it.

I have identified 3 kinds of fraudsters:

1)      The Predator – who makes a career of taking your money dishonestly

2)      The Opportunist – generally an everyday person who will take advantage of an opportunity. It might be as “Australian” as offering or accepting “cash jobs,” it could be applying for flood relief when they were not really inconvenienced or could afford to replace their own perishables, they might discreetly remove the tip on a restaurant table before the waiter returns.

3)      The Cracked Egg – These are the people who are good, decent people but circumstances in their lives create pressure that causes them to compromise their values. These could be someone with a gambling addiction or drug habit. It could be a battered wife who has no resources. It’s often someone who sees no other way out.


Be vigilant. Create or adopt systems and accountability in your business and in your personal life that protect you. People do not do what is expected, they do what is inspected.

Be aware of areas in your own life where you could be vulnerable to pressure or temptation. If you think you are immune, you are immediately vulnerable to either being ripped off or compromising your own ethics or morals.

Customer service is the best strategy against shoplifting. Knowing your employees is the best strategy against their ripping you off. Have a “care” program that supports them. It might be checking on them when they are “sick” or being flexible with single parent pressures. In a less formal light, get to know them as people, care about them so that you are aware of the pressures in their lives and can help. Maybe YOU will prevent them making a decision that ruins the rest of their lives!

If you would some direction in this area you can contact me.

More detailed keys in fraud prevention and recovery are in my book “Dangerous Wealth.” Purchase a physical book for $25 plus postage or save time and $ by ordering the eBook or audio book here for just $20.

If you would like me to talk to your group about Powerful Perspectives for Business and Life please visit my contact page.

Posted in Resilience.

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