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Alex Wood


Alex Wood is a Cybercrime, Social Engineering and Counter Fraud Speaker

Alex Wood’s early career was in the music industry. From the age of 13 he toured the world as a violin soloist and performed under the greatest conductors of the modern era. He was awarded prestigious scholarships to attend the Purcell School, the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal College of Music, winning an array of prizes along the way and becoming a regular guest at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle

At the age of 24 his career was abruptly halted by the onset of repetitive strain injury (RSI) in his right hand. Faced with mounting debts and no source of income, his criminal career began. His life spiralled out of control, culminating in several years spent in prison for dishonesty offences – everything from impersonating the 13th Duke of Marlborough to committing multi-million-pound cybercrime.

“I barely heard the judge’s words when he sentenced me to seven years. I felt like the most disgusting person on this planet. How could I have inflicted such unthinkable, irreparable pain and grief upon an innocent man and the business he and his family had worked tirelessly to build?”

As Alex Wood listened to the victim impact statements during his final sentencing hearing, so began his redemption journey. Since his release from jail in early 2022, Alex has turned his life around and become an immensely powerful force in the Counter Fraud profession.

In February 2023 he was a Keynote Speaker at Counter Fraud 2023 (organised by the Cabinet Office, GovNet and the Public Sector Fraud Authority). In March 2023 he spoke at the LBFIG (London Boroughs’ Fraud Investigators’ Group) AGM at Pinsent Masons’ HQ. In May 2023, Alex was the Keynote Speaker at the National Investigations Conference (NICONF23) in Birmingham, where he presented a speech entitled ‘Inside the Mind of a Criminal’ and in June 2023, he was the Keynote Speaker at the LA Financial Investigators Forum, talking about everything from social engineering to underworld banking.

In addition to Public Sector speaking, he delivers speeches and consultation to leading global financial institutions (including Tier 1 banks such as NatWest PLC, insurance providers, law firms and risk experts such as Experian PLC) to enable a deep understanding of the ‘Fraud Mindset’ as well as sophisticated ‘Social Engineering’ techniques.

Alex’s story is unique and enthralling as he takes the audience on a journey to glimpse into the world of the criminal mind. He is deeply committed to atoning for his crimes and campaigns tirelessly to educate future generations and institutions on the dangers and risks of fraud. Alex is working on a national strategy, in partnership with leading financial institutions, lawyers, Police forces and Government to educate children about the risks of involvement in mule activity.

Alex Wood has been nominated for the awards of ‘Newcomer of the Year’ and ‘Outstanding Contribution’ in the Public Sector Fraud Awards 2024 (sponsored by the Cabinet Office).

Whilst in prison, Alex was signed by the world-leading literary agent Andrew Lownie. His story is now the subject of a major documentary (in production) by the multi award-winning film makers Chris Atkins and Louis Theroux (Mindhouse Productions).


From Her Majesty’s Palaces to Her Majesty’s Prisons 

What leads someone down the path of becoming a fraudster? In this speech Alex Wood talks openly on his early years and what led him from a law-abiding life to committing increasingly serious financial crimes. Alex discusses his flawed decision making processes and speaks candidly about how he laundered the proceeds of his offences providing vital insights into how financial institutions can fight back. Alex offers also important insights into how AI is being used by criminal gangs to automate financial crime, with devastating effect, and offers advice on how this can be combatted.

Combatting Fraud by Eliminating Mule Accounts:  How can we Detect and Close Mule Accounts prior to a Fraudulent Event?

In this talk Alex Wood starts with the basics, explaining what a Mule Account is and how they can become a central piece of a fraudster’s toolkit.  The people relinquishing control of the accounts are almost always vulnerable in some way and are being cruelly exploited by criminals.  Alex helps clients to understand the ways in which the accounts are taken over and how financial organisations can learn to detect such accounts PRIOR to them receiving the proceeds of crime.

Future Threats for Generative AI:  An Opportunity for Bad Actors?

Depending on who you ask, Artificial Intelligence is either a force for good or for evil.  Financial institutions are able to use Generative AI to fight back against fraudsters but only if they fully understand exactly how criminals themselves are utilising AI as a means to automate financial crime and execute ‘zero touch’ fraud, including by using Deepfake clones. In this speech Alex Wood offers insights into how criminals are utilising AI for their own means and how financial institutions can combat against it.

Underworld Banking:  What is the Cross-Border threat posed by the likes of Hawala and Daigou?

In an increasingly cashless society, a fraudster’s ability to properly launder money into digital and purportedly legitimate assets is imperative.  In this talk, Alex Wood explains how underground banking networks such as Hawala and Daigou enable the immediate global dissipation of assets, and the potentially devastating consequences it can bring (such as the inadvertent funding of terrorism) and how these networks also allow for the purportedly legitimate accumulation of high value assets back in the UK.

Deep Social Engineering:  I am not the Duke of Marlborough and nor am I calling from your Bank! 

It is imperative that the Counter Fraud Profession has a strong understanding of the extent to which fraudsters deploy social engineering in order to perpetrate their offences.  Whether by impersonating others (perhaps royalty, police or bank staff) or by gently and subtly manipulating conversations in order to build false trust with a victim (as we so often see in romance fraud).  By educating the public to these heartless techniques, we can ‘Protect and Prevent’.

Inside the Mind of a Criminal: From the Fraud Mindset to the Psychopathy Spectrum.

The actions of a fraudster have often been considered by reference to the Fraud Triangle (incentive, opportunity, rationalisation).  However, in modern society, the Fraud Triangle is outdated and unhelpful.  In this talk Alex Wood draws on his own lived experience to explain how Fraud is now being fuelled by bad actors who show traits of psychopathy and religious ideology, amongst other things.


Cyber Security


We have worked with Matthew for many years and will continue to do so. His knowledge of the Speaker Market and ability to interpret our clients requirements is quite exceptional.

He is incredibly thorough in his approach and always goes that extra mile to ensure everything is exactly as required.

I am always happy working with Matthew, he has great credibility, he is very diverse in his ability to make things happen.

Matthew Fisher and I have worked together for many number of years. I have always found Matt to be honest, good natured and willing to work hard always carefully selecting the best appearances to suit my personality and lifestyle. The work Matthew has delivered for me over the years has varied from schools, colleges, attending film premiers, guest speaking  to name a few all of which I have lots of memories and thoroughly enjoyed.