Book Review - Fraud Identification and Prevention

Physical Security
Book Review: Fraud Identification and Prevention
CRC Press; crcpress.com; 336 pages; $69.95.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the cover of this book says it all: even a double layer of security may not be enough to prevent fraud.

In the foreword to the book, Lawrence Fennelly and Marianna Perry, CPP, point out, “If it sounds too good, it’s probably a scam.” Over the next 300 pages, the author does a wonderful job educating the reader on the myriad strategies that fraudsters use to lead the unsuspecting citizen into becoming the victim of a scam. Most of us have heard of many of these—but many are cleverly disguised and can easily fool.

The beauty of this book is in its thoroughness in detailing the amounts and kinds of fraud traps—from secret shopper scams to Ponzi schemes, from defrauding individuals to corporate fraud—and the measures designed to detect and then counter the schemes. 

The book is presented in an easy-to-read format that takes complex schemes and makes them understandable to the layman. Each of the book’s 12 logical chapters is devoted to a specific type of fraud. To emphasize and cement the ideas and concepts, the book is chock full of pictures and examples pulled from real situations. Then, in a series of appendices, the reader is presented with examples of real scam e-mails. Reading through these examples provides the reader clear insight into how advanced the fraud mechanisms are and how easily ordinary people can be fooled. Case studies throughout the book solidify the learning process as they tie together the concepts and how they can and are applied in the real world.  

A Comprehensive Look at Fraud Identification and Prevention is ideally designed for the student or the beginning security professional, but it can serve as an easy reference or catalog for the experienced fraud professional. A comprehensive table of contents makes it easy to navigate to any important point within the book. To ease the flow of information, the author provides strategic use of bulleted statements to emphasize important points.

Author Rick Youngblood brings more than 20 years of military criminal investigation experience combined with a unique blend of advanced academics to the subject of fraud identification and prevention, and he does so in a way that is easily understood and digested by the reader. This book is a welcome addition to my professional library.  

Reviewer: Terry L. Wettig, CPP, is director, risk management, for Brink’s Incorporated in Richmond, Virginia. A retired U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant, he is responsible for developing and overseeing risk management strategies and designing training programs to counter developing risks. He is studying for his Ph.D. in organizational psychology.