Football and fraud prevention

Professional football is back! While watching the first weekend of the regular season, it occurred to me that there are strategic similarities between the fundamentals of football and fraud prevention.

Great football coaches study their opponents. On game day, defensive coaches are able to predict with a high degree of certainty what their offensive opponent will do on the field when the down and distance situations are first and 10, second and eight, third and four, or fourth and a mile. Coaches can then position their players accordingly, relentlessly attacking unsuspecting offenses (double teams, safety, corner and linebacker blitzes) from various places on the field. On the other side of the ball, offensive coaches attack defensive weaknesses in the same manner, looking for zone coverage, player vulnerabilities and mismatches in one-on-one situations (6’4 wide receiver against a 5’10 defensive back or a speedy third-down running back against a slower linebacker) that they can exploit.

Like football coaches, fraudsters spend time studying their financial institution targets, identifying vulnerabilities and mismatches to exploit — just like the strategies coaches use on the football field. As organized crime rings attempt to score, a financial institution’s defense tries to keep them out of the end zone.

With that premise in mind, here are five themes at the core of winning anti-fraud and risk mitigation strategies for financial institutions:


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