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The final insertion to any John Cooke Fraud Report copy is always the editorial. It’s written almost on the way to the printer. There are two reasons for this. First, I’m too busy in the run up to even consider what it is that I want to say: there is the solicitation of articles, the ‘recipe’ that makes every issue informative, entertaining, educational to all levels of readers, challenging and timely — at least as timely as is possible in the ever-changing world of fraud-fighting — and without flagrant errrors. (Like the extra r I just put in the word errors.) Second, I own the red marker pen and the written word lives forever. This makes the run up to the actual printed publication difficult from a time perspective and crucial from a staff safety prospective.
Each issue is like a child to those of us who devote so much time to the process. We name the issues, but just like real new babies, sometimes that name isn’t readily apparent until weeks or even months after the presses have run, the bundles are delivered and distribution has put a significant dent in the storage facility. Spring 2014, this one is going to be named … James … in reference to the words that follow in blue. James, as in King James.
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.
John Cooke, born in May 1994, is twenty years old. In that time, even considering our lengthy Internet Presentation Only hiatus, about 70 “children” have been printed, named and circulated. James was the most difficult of all. There is nothing startlingly different in our content, but the never-ending, round-the-clock, 18-hour days made for an overall non-receding weariness. Fifty people could not keep up with JCFR and FFA; it’s theoretically, mathematically and physically impossible. That less than a dozen of us “hold down the fort” is mind-boggling.
JCFR: The need for education is increasing, especially cross-education.
FFA: The needs of an ever-growing fraud victim pool aren’t just increasing, they’re exploding. And our common enemy, those who seek to steal that which does not belong to them is morphing and mutating faster and more powerfully that all of our combined counter-forces can withstand.
The two organizations share a common tag line. “Fighting Fraud Through Communication and Education.” Of all of the TIME references above, the two that most stand out in the ongoing fight against fraud, at least for me, are “A time to break down, And a time to build up” and “A time to keep silence, And a time to speak.”
So here it is:
- Throw out the old approaches that are no longer effective and increase the arsenal with approaches that at least stand a chance.
- Crooks think “outside of the box” because they know insurers are well aware of what’s “inside the box.”
- If you’re going to use decades old forms and check lists, save the time and investigative staff and just send out blank/pre-signed checks.
- Understand the popular definition of insanity: “repeating the same behavior and expecting different results” (A quick trivia lesson: Not really an actual definition; more a highly overused cliche — one that did not originate with Ben Franklin,Albert Einstein or Mark Twain. The best guess is that it may have come from Narcotics Anonymous!)
- Educate, Supervise, and FOLLOW UP.
- Rally for change. There is nothing more frustrating and spirit-killing to an investigative team than to see a slam-dunk case “settled to avoid defense spending.”
Encourage a proactive atmosphere to replace the current reactive one.
And perhaps take to heart the fact that this identical message could have appeared in our May 1994 Premier Issue, where it would have been just as timely and just as relevant. That alone sums it up.
To everything there is a season.
A time for every purpose under heaven.