A cartoon man running away from a giant foot. The man is scared and looks like he is about to be stomped. There is a triable with an exclamation mark above him warning him of fraud net zero.

It’s time to end the finger-pointing. Every company involved in the insidious scam lifecycle should demonstrate how they do the right thing for their customers and broader society by working towards Fraud Net Zero. Here’s why.

A few years ago, fraud was straightforward: a nefarious party hijacks a victim’s personal details and drains their bank account. Today, however, in the age of digital connectivity and globalized business, the fraud footprint has expanded and diversified into a multitude of scams involving several different service providers.

The age-old question remains: how do we thwart this evolution of fraud in the new digital landscape? The answer lies in adopting a proven model for climate change, namely “Fraud Net Zero.”

What is Fraud Net Zero?

Like carbon neutrality, which businesses adopt voluntarily for societal good and brand reputation, Fraud Net Zero (or Fraud Neutrality) is a potent solution that could reshape our perception of fraud management and prevention. Organizations from all sectors can and should seek to be accredited as Fraud Net Zero. This is not a sector-based approach restricted to banks or financial institutions. It is a company approach that extends across all industries.

The crux of Fraud Net Zero lies in companies understanding and managing their unique fraud footprint rather than being dictated to by third parties or even regulators.

Each entity is integral to different fraud lifecycle stages, from initial planning and scaling to final realization and repair. Companies can proactively prevent scams from taking hold by focusing on the steps where they are involved.

A Fraud Neutrality Approach is More Effective than New Regulations

There are several reasons why Fraud Neutrality could outperform regulatory measures in addressing fraud. 

Regulations often lead to a culture of minimum compliance, blame-shifting, and non-collaboration. This is where the beauty of the voluntary fraud-neutral model comes in. 

Fraud neutrality operates on the principle of incentivizing companies to take up the mantle of responsibility rather than forcing them into it. Like carbon neutrality, it’s a self-funded initiative that doesn’t create costs for society or governments.

Illustration of Fraud Net Zero framework, outlining now banks can reduce their
Illustration of Fraud Net Zero framework, outlining now banks can reduce their

Companies can claim a fraud-neutral status by taking more fraud out of the system than they allow into it, which is verified by fraud-neutral accreditation agencies. 

Companies can then promote their fraud-neutral status to their customers, investors, and stakeholders, creating a powerful brand reputation built on trust and safety. In essence, it changes the narrative from reactive denial to proactive verification. 

The fraud-neutral approach turns a societal issue into a brand strength.

How does the Fraud Net Zero approach work across sectors to stop scams before they start?

Consider a scenario where a real estate company rents office space to a dodgy organization operating at unconventional hours. 

If the real estate company adheres to Fraud Neutrality principles, it would inquire about the nature of the business and evaluate potential risks. This seemingly simple step can prevent devastating scams before they happen and forms part of the vast fraud prevention ecosystem. 

This act allows the real estate company to acquire fraud credits on either a self-defined scale or one provided by an independent accreditation agency.

Fraud Offsets: The Fraud-Neutral Credit

The fraud-neutral model also allows companies to gain fraud-neutral credits, similar to carbon offsets. 

Organizations would measure the amount of fraud they’ve eliminated from the financial system and receive fraud offset credits for their efforts. A company with a bigger fraud footprint could invest in fraud offset credits by donating to fraud-fighting organizations. Fraud offsets foster an environment where corporate actions directly contribute to societal safety.

The Fraud-Neutral Model Creates More Informed Consumers

Consumer involvement is also pivotal to this approach. Consumers need to share when they were scammed and provide the details of their experiences. By reporting fraudulent attempts, consumers assist companies in identifying and shutting down scams at their earliest stages, creating a robust feedback loop that enhances fraud prevention.

The Impact of a Fraud-Neutral Model on Scams

To really understand the potential of the fraud-neutral concept, let’s apply it to a telecom company. 

Let’s say Many Mobile detects a mass vishing blast distributed across its network. Operating with a fraud-neutral approach, they would block those SMS messages or that number, preventing thousands of potential victims from falling prey to scams. 

Or think of social media platforms that shut down romance scams in their early stages. This ability to nip fraud in the bud protects consumers, particularly the most vulnerable in society, from scams’ devastating emotional and financial implications.

Be the Change You Want to See

Now is the moment to change how we fight fraud. Let’s foster a culture of proactive prevention rather than retrospective repair, where every business plays its part in the fight against fraud. Let’s make Fraud Net Zero not just a concept but an integral part of our business landscapes, competitive differentiation, societal responsibility, and our united fight against fraud.

Let’s become the change we wish to see, starting today. Together, we can set the standard, ignite the conversation, and shape a safer, more secure digital world. Because a world united against fraud is a world that champions trust, business growth, and societal well-being.