Four Amazing Videos about Fraud and Fighting Fraud

At IDfy, our aim is to help build a world without fraud where people and businesses can engage with confidence.

Not surprisingly, a key part of our jobs here at IDfy, is being curious about who commits fraud and why, what they do and how they do it as well as how they can be stopped from doing so.

The collection of videos we present here are intended to make you think about fraud in general and identity fraud in particular.

While there is a wealth of very useful information out there on each of these subjects, we chose these specific talks and stories because of their ability to entertain, while being educational and thought provoking.

Understanding a fraudster

Title: How people rationalize fraud

Creator: Dr. Kelly Richmond Pope

First Published: 2015

Length: 4 min 34 sec

People who commit fraud have no specific identifiers in the way that they look, the jobs that they do, the clothes that they wear or the lives that they lead. In other words, fraudsters come from all walks of life and the most unlikely of people are often found to be involved in criminal deceit.

Educator and entrepreneur, Dr. Kelly Richmond Pope knows a lot about how fraud and fraudsters work.

Apart from being an expert in the field of forensic accounting, she is also the creator of two excellent documentaries about fraud - “Crossing the Line: Ordinary People Committing Extraordinary Crime” and “All the Queens Horses” which tells the story of how Rita Crundwell stole $53.7 million from the city of Dixon, Illinois over a period of 22 years.

In this short video from TedEd, Dr. Pope explains how the fraud triangle, (developed by criminologist Donald Cressey) can help us understand how seemingly good people can make unethical decisions in their daily lives.

Identity Theft is Easy and can Ruin your Life

Title: How to steal an identity

Creator: Bennett Arron

First Published: 2007

Length: 47 min 39 sec

Welsh writer and stand-up comedian Bennett Arron was among the earliest known victims of identity theft in the UK.

Back in the late 1990s, someone stole his identity and took loans and debts that they did not repay and ruined his credit score.

Read: How to detect tampered and forged images. Click here to download ebook

Bennett only found out about this when his wife and him wanted to buy a house while expecting a baby. Not only was his application for a loan rejected, he could not afford rent for his current home as he was forced to repay the debt that had ruined his credit score.

So, he decided to prove a point to the British Home Office by making a film to show how easy identity theft was and how people could get affected, so that the government would wake up and do something about it.

The resulting documentary is an often hilarious, sometimes frightening and eye opening tale of how easily people can be conned into revealing damaging personal information and how easy it is to fake identity, even without needing to contact the victim.

More than a decade after the documentary was aired, technology has made it far easier for our identities to be stolen while awareness about identity theft and the practice of taking precautions to protect it, remain rare.

A must watch because of the education it provides while also taking us through a hilarious journey of stealing identities by going through garbage, setting up stalls in malls and finally stealing the identity of a top government official!

A Different Concept of Identity

Title: A new way to stop identity theft

Speaker: David Birch

First Published: 2012

Length: 17 min 4 sec

When we rent a car, does the car rental company need to know our name, age and address that are usually spelt out in detail on our driving license?

Or would it be sufficient for them to know that we are authorise legally to drive, have an impeccable record when it comes to not stealing other people’s property and how they may get in touch with us if we do not return the car as per schedule.?

David Birch is a leading global expert on digital identity and digital money and has spent a lot of time worrying about the dangers of revealing too much personal information to strangers.

In this excellent talk, he discusses the concept of a “fractured” approach to identity where businesses and individuals have the tools to only request and reveal, the information necessary to carry out the specific transaction.

For example, a bartender who needs to confirm if a patron is over the legally permitted drinking age need not know your specific date of birth or anything else about you. How can technology enable that?

This is an intriguing discussion as many of our clients are in positions where they need to know just about everything about their client to conduct business with them or hire them.

A bank must know a lot about its customers, to simply comply with government regulations that help prevent money laundering. Companies seeking to hire people must be able to verify a lot of the personal information about the people including the fact that they are really who they claim to be.

Perhaps there is a need to understand the merits of solutions like the ones proposed by David Birch and adapt them to situations that need extreme information from individuals - like onboarding a new customer at the bank.

Technology: A Fraudsters Greatest Friend and Enemy

Title: Fake videos of real people - and how to spot them

Speaker: Supasorn Suwajanakorn

First Published: 2018

Length: 7 min 14 sec

Supasorn Suwajanakorn is an expert in the field of machine learning and computer vision whose work in enabling the creation of 3D face models of anybody by using nothing other than their photos, has earned him global fame.

In this video he gives a captivating demonstration of how the technology he has built works. He also talks about why he is excited by the good this technology can do but also talks about the dangers it can pose before suggesting ways to prevent the technology from being misused.

We are already well beyond the era where we could believe the photographs we saw without even questioning their authenticity. It is simply a matter of time, before the same will be the case with video as well.

While video forgery has been possible for ages (afterall, a lot of cinema is about creating a world of illusion using videos), technology like this will democratise it and make it possible for almost everybody to create fake videos involving others with ease.

For businesses, it will become even more important to be ahead of the game and be able to detect any kind of fraud or tampering as their interactions with customers, employees and agents becomes more digital with a lot of critical decision making being done on the basis of information or content submitted as video.