5 Outlandish Claims Fraud Vendor Sales Guys Tell You

You’ve heard the phrase, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”?   So when you’re listening to a sales guy trying to pitch you the latest greatest fraud tool you might want to be on the alert for anything that sounds a little too rosy.   You probably know what I’m talking about right?

I’m admittedly an old school guy that has been around the fraud prevention industry from the 90’s when there were only a handful of fraud companies doing business.  Back then, everyone knew everyone and most vendors in the space were also fraud practitioners themselves so they understood the dynamics of fraud well.

Today, there are thousands of fraud vendors pitching every product, every model, every solution you can think of.   And they’re all vying for your business.   There’s a lot of sales guys out there pounding the pavement trying to cut deals.

With so many salespeople pounding the pavement, some might be prone to embellish the truth a bit.  Here are some of the more common outlandish claims I have heard over the years.

#1 – We Got the Silver Bullet – This Here Solution Will Stop 100% Of Your Fraud

Some claims are simply not true.  This has to be at the top of the list.

We can stop 100% of your fraud!  This is the only fraud tool you will ever need! This fraud tool replaces everything you have built or bought over the last 15 years!  This is the silver bullet.! It’s impervious to any fraud attempt any shady crook can think of!  Your days of worrying about fraud are over!

The fact is, that’s an outlandish claim.  Everyone knows that fraud programs are a series of layered defenses and no fraud tool be all things to all people.

#2 – Sick of False Positives?  Guess What We Have None.

There is no such thing as a solution with no false positives.  Every fraud solution is going to have them and actually good fraud solutions make more wrong decisions than they do right ones.  They just make the wrong ones less.

Even a solution that has 2:1 false positives makes twice as many wrong predictions than they do correct ones.

So if your sales guy says something like this, raise your left eyebrow up a bit and say, “oh really..?”  And draw out the really like that so he knows you don’t believe them.

#3 – You Can Customize Absolutely Everything In This Solution!

The old customization angle is always designed to solve all the use cases in a single RFP.  I got news for you.  No single solution can be customized to solve all of your fraud problems.

Here are some of the things you might hear.

Want rules?  Add as many as you want!  Want 1000 realtime data feeds across 10,000 bank branches operating seamlessly all with a simple drag and drop interface?  We got that!  Want every user to have their own customized case management screen?  No problem.  We’ve got everything covered.

Be wary of these claims for obvious reasons.  Need I say more?

#4 – This Solution Will Eliminate Your Need for Fraud Analyst!

One of the biggest claims you will hear these days is that you can fully 100% automate fraud decisions without human intervention.  This is not realistic for many reasons.

Machines make mistakes.  Product’s aren’t perfect.  Any company that tells you that their solution will eliminate the need for fraud analyst isn’t being realistic.  You will always need fraud analyst so don’t go out and buy a solution and think you’re going to be able to fire your whole fraud team.

#5 – You Can Write and Deploy Your Own Models With Zero Experience!

The old deploy a model in seconds with a few clicks of the button seems to be a major selling point these days.  Call me old fashioned but I still think you need data scientist to help you build and deploy models the right way.

There are some of companies that might claim that you can write and deploy state of the art machine learning models with zero experience by punching buttons and letting the magical models just start to stop all of your fraud.   Good models require good data scientist and experience to avoid pitfalls.

Be leery of any sales guy telling you how easy it is!

Thanks for reading.  Have fun evaluating your fraud solutions. It’s a jungle out there!

Frank McKenna is the Chief Fraud Strategist for PointPredictive and a Fraud Consultant based in San Diego California