Liberty gets personal with crime risk open day

19 June 2008 Liberty

Leading life assurer Liberty Life is pioneering a new approach to raising fraud awareness by introducing the corporate crime risk open day that focuses on fraud related crime and confronts employees with an in-your-face message.

The idea is to complement corporate posters, internal news media, Internet, intranet and email messaging with 1:1 engagement that makes fraud prevention a personal issue for all employees.

Liberty Group hopes other insurers will replicate the format to “freshen and personalise” the anti-fraud campaign across the industry.

On Thursday June 19 the atrium of the Liberty Group head office in Braamfontein was taken over by the wealth company’s fraud prevention and detection team.

Various show-stands communicated:

  • Liberty values and the fraud code of ethics
  • The work of Liberty forensics services
  • The need for vigilance to prevent money laundering
  • The work of the Liberty fraud hotline (manned by KPMG)
  • The danger of identity theft and the work of the TransUnion Credit Bureau
  • The need for enhanced reporting mechanisms to highlight suspicious transactions and combat money laundering (manned by the Anti Money Laundering Team)

Floor walkers from Liberty forensics services patrolled every floor of the Liberty offices to direct staff to the show-stands and explain why the risk open day was important.

Clayton Thomopoulos, head of fraud prevention and detection at Liberty, commented: “It’s vital not to let the work of awareness-raising become stale. By declaring June 19, Liberty head office’s Crime Risk Awareness Day we could freshen and personalise the message.

“The idea was to engage employees and encourage their personal involvement. We want them to see that fraud affects us all. It affects you as an individual because you are at risk. It affects your work. Businesses also need to take cognizance of crime risks and the impact it may have on their relevant strategies.”

The TransUnion show-stand was used as an involvement device as the credit bureau’s staff could carry out checks on personal credit status.

Liberty staff members presented their ID books and obtained their own credit rating.

Thomopoulos explained: “Identity theft is becoming a major problem. By using your right to a free annual credit check you can see whether your status has suddenly changed and whether address details are correct.

“If you see your credit status is linked to a stranger’s address and your status has suddenly become a lot worse you could be a victim of identity theft.

“The realisation that it could happen to you brings it home to people that fraud awareness is not old hat. It is a constant battle. Constant vigilance is essential.”

Liberty’s forensics teams plans to take the open-day concept to the Group’s regional head offices in Durban and Cape Town.

“We hope our colleagues at other insurers will adopt similar initiatives,” said Thomopoulos. “We would like every employer in every industry to stage opens days like this. Putting up anti-fraud posters and web pages is vital, but there is a danger that they become like wallpaper.

“Getting personal and being in your face is a great way to add impact and enliven the message.”  

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