Fraud is a very real threat in the business world today. Some of the areas that are at risk for fraud include credit card transactions, ACH and wire payments and online activities. Additionally, some “trends” in the fraud world include:
- Compromise of email accounts
- Malware and virus infections
- Lottery, investment and work from home scams; money mules
- Card compromises and ATM skimming
- Attorney check scams
- Social engineering and phishing
Fortunately, there are processes and controls you can put in place to reduce the likelihood of your business becoming a victim of fraud. You will need to adopt a layered approach to be successful. Implementing effective internal controls (such as segregating duties and creating separate accounts for different activities) and developing a strong partnership with your bank are important steps in preventing your business from being victimized by fraud. You’ll also want to make sure your business has HR policies around employee onboarding and departure that minimize the risk of fraud.
To reduce your risk of fraud from online activities, make sure your anti-virus protection software and other programs are up to date. Avoid opening email from unknown senders, and access online banking websites by typing the address rather than clicking a link in an email. Where possible, we also recommend dedicating one computer for online banking.
If you believe you have been hacked, pull together your internal team and notify your bank right away. Identify what was compromised and plug the hole, so to speak. Finally, find out what was stolen a you may need to report to regulatory agencies and law enforcement.