Protecting Your Business Against Fraud
Fraud against businesses can take many shapes and sizes – from forged checks to electronic breaches. While no business is fraud-proof, there are ways to reduce risk and deter would-be fraudsters.
Since every business is different, your exposure – and the steps you take – will be unique. Consult with your business community, security experts and financial partners to assess your fraud prevention and how to bolster it.
An old scam gets new life – protect against check fraud
Check fraud is on the rise because paper checks are easy to fake and hard to trace. It cuts both ways – make sure checks you get are legit with check verification and training to spot fake or altered checks. If you send checks, use a secure mail drop – criminals commonly steal outgoing mail to get your check, then alter it and cash it.
Conduct more transactions digitally for better security
Despite headlines and perceptions, digital payments are very safe. Modern point-of-sale verification tools make it harder to complete digital payments fraudulently, and they deliver a good customer experience. And if fraud does happen, there is a digital trail to follow.
Train employees to spot email scams, counterfeit and fraud
Your best fraud defense is your people. “Business email compromise” uses employees against you – fraudsters spoof the emails of company officers and urgently order an employee to transfer funds to the attacker’s account. Teach employees to know the signs. Retail employees should know how to spot counterfeit cash, and workers who receive shipments can watch for vendor fraud.
Screen and monitor employees
Prevention and detection can thwart the “inside job.” Employee fraud cost U.S. businesses $50 billion in 2017. Screen workers carefully, make sure no one person controls all the books or accounts, require documented approval for transaction, and conduct audits regularly (and randomly.)
Make fraud monitoring an ongoing activity
Preventing fraud is a way of life, not a one-time action. Put systems in place that make verification easier. Choose an accounting system that’s easy to use. Make it a policy to check incoming orders for quality problems or shortages, and an inventory control system helps make sure goods aren’t walking out the door.
Most people in this world are good and honest, but a smart business protects itself from the few people who would try to cheat the system. Keep up to date on the latest threats and protections and talk with fraud experts about what other steps you can take to protect your business.