Payments Fraud: When White Collar Crime Turns Red

by J_Pratt

door knocker

I don’t want to scare anyone, but occasionally we do need to be reminded: not all white collar crime is non-violent. When a white collar crime results in injury or death, it becomes known as a “red collar crime”. Many assume payments fraud is a non-violent crime, but the truth is situations can escalate, and sometimes a confronted perpetrator just panics and does something he/she never planned to do.

If you believe you may be a victim of fraud, never confront the individual you think is responsible alone or in a secluded location, not even if they are family members, a long-time colleague or a friend.

The same could be said for situations that require us to meet strangers:

  • Meeting any internet contacts in person (even if you have vetted them thoroughly)
  • When selling or buying items through ads or on-line auctions
  • Any potentially volatile situation (e.g., when you want to confront someone who you believe has charged funds against your credit card or bank account)

Remember, the first line of defense starts with you! Protect yourself in these situations:

  • Never meet strangers in an isolated location; always meet in a public place where you are surrounded by others.
  • Bring someone with you who is aware of the situation and prepared to help protect you – and be your witness – if the person becomes agitated.
  • If you feel a crime has been or (is being committed), report it to the police.
  • If you feel you may be in imminent danger, call 911.

Keep in mind that physical security and financial security can go hand-in-hand. When you take precautions for your own physical safety, you may also be strengthening your fraud prevention defenses, and precautions taken to strengthen your fraud prevention defenses can, likewise, help keep your from physical harm.


FPF2A co-founder & FraudAvengers Director of Business Development Jodi Pratt is a 35-year veteran of the financial services industry. A pioneer in the area of fraud management, Jodi has spent the last 20 years creating, developing and implementing fraud solutions. She currently provides consulting and expert witness services to businesses via Jodi Pratt and Associates.