From the Desk of Servaas
Yes, believe it, we are in the middle of 2017… Time really has flown since my last communication and I have much to share after a rather busy first six months. We have introduced a spectrum of new service offerings in both the short- and long-term insurance industries, our general forensic services are expanding rapidly, and we are progressing well to enter a service offering in the medical insurance arena.
I have just returned from the US after attending the International Fraud Conference of the ACFE in Nashville, and am happy to share some of the highlights.
More than 3,000 anti-fraud professionals descended on the Music City for the 28th Fraud Conference, and it was yet again a great experience to attend with fellow fraud fighters.
The theme of the conference was “Where Heroes Unite” – a theme I thought quite fitting for the fraud fighters, specifically my fellow fraud fighters in the EOH Group.
My conference kicked off on Sunday the 18th with the Chapter Leaders Meeting where several ACFE chapter presidents and CEOs shared successes and challenges over the past year.
Not only do we have a common purpose, but we also share similar challenges in the fight against fraud around the globe.
Dr Paul Ekman is the world’s leading deception expert and the scientific consultant to the well-known television series “Lie to Me”. Cliff Lansley’s (Director of the Emotional Intelligence Academy) training during a keynote address at the ACFE Fraud Conference was very interesting. Cliff shared his expert and key insights into detecting deception through facial expressions and involuntary body language (based on the science of Dr Paul Ekman). We have a massive disadvantage as fraud examiners and investigators with research showing that criminals and fraudsters are better at lie detection (65.4% accuracy) than investigators (55.2% accuracy). Continuous education is key if we want to win this battle, and Cliff has shared some valuable insights with his 3-2-7 rule, which I will gladly pass on to all fellow EOH fraud fighters.
Another noteworthy keynote address was by Eugene Soltes (Harvard Business School Professor) unpacking why white collar criminals resort to fraud. He confirmed what most of us already know through experience, that people don’t think about the consequences of their actions. He added that “to perpetrators, corporate misconduct often doesn’t feel harmful”. The highlights in the media depicted on one of his presentation slides (below) moved him to do the study and he has interviewed and corresponded with some of the most notorious fraudsters in history during his seven-year study.
I often ask myself – “WHY” – why do I continue to fight fraud? It is probably natural to ask when one considers the growing news headlines of fraud and corruption, especially in South Africa over the past few months. Our efforts in this fight against fraud may seem to be a drop in the ocean, but believe me, we do make a meaningful and significant difference in our country – we are nearing the R3 billion mark in pro-active fraud prevention and detection.
In closing, we have introduced a suite of custom service solutions to expand our current offering to our insurance customers. We have also introduced cyber solutions to address the increased propensity of cyber related fraud in our general forensic services channel. For more information relating to our suite of services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to our engagements over the last few months of 2017!
Servaas du Plessis