Preventing or catching fraud can feel like a huge task – like keeping track of an influx of orders during your busy season. Being a victim of fraud can not only hurt your bank account, but your business’s reputation too. With this much at stake, make sure you know what security measures to take so you can focus on your customers and keep them a top priority.
Here are our 3 best tips for fraud prevention for your business:
1. Report fraud immediately – do you know that businesses only have a 24-hour window of opportunity to report fraudulent or unauthorized transactions? Businesses are not covered under the same protection that personal accounts are, which mens business owners and staff need to be diligent about monitoring their account activity on a daily basis to help reduce risk and potential loss from fraudulent activity.
If you have the tools mentioned in our third tip below, then you know it’s as easy as clicking into your notification from an ACH debit filter or Positive Pay and either approving the charge or reporting it as fraudulent – no paperwork, no stopping into the bank to sign anything, just returning the item right away.
If you don’t have those tools, then you’ll want to keep a close eye on your business accounts – if you identify fraud on your business account, it is crucial to report it immediately. If it is reported and disputed within 24-hours of posting to your account, you’ll likely receive your funds back. However, if it is outside 24-hours, this is not guaranteed. Filing a dispute requires paperwork and in some cases, a police report. These steps make the process a little more time consuming.
If you aren’t able to report the fraudulent charge within 24 hours of it occurring, your bank can still put together the paperwork and try to return the item, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get your money back.
2. Have dual-control internal processes – that means checks and balances between your employees’ responsibilities.
Nick Benz, our Treasury Management Sales Officer Lead, has 17 years in the Treasury Management field and is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP), which means he’s proven mastery of essential business finance functions like liquidity, cash flow and risk management. Nick has seen what works, and how satisfied and relieved businesses are when they catch something before it becomes a bigger problem.
“One of the best ways to prevent fraud is to make sure you have secure, dual-control internal processes in place for when your business makes payments – especially large ones.
“‘Dual-control’ means that making a payment (or other action) has to be reviewed and approved by two people before it is completed. Making sure that a transaction is approved by two or more parties increases your chance of catching any fraud attempts,” Nick said. “Many phishing attempts start as a hacked email address asking a coworker to send a payment – it can be invaluable to have a second set of eyes on a transaction to make sure it is a legitimate request.”
If you’d like more details on where and how to build those internal processes, see our guide from Security Officer, Kerri Bronk.
3. Use tools to make catching fraud easier. Would you rather: check on your business’s transactions every day in online banking, or get a notification when a suspicious check, that you haven’t pre-approved, comes through?
We highly recommend that businesses use fraud management services like Positive Pay and ACH Blocks & Filters. Positive Pay services monitor checks, while ACH filters monitor electronic activity. The fraud management system will automatically let you know when something that needs to be reviewed hits your account. If a transactions happens to be fraudulent or unauthorized, you have the ability to return it immediately.
We’re here to do our best to make your life easier. With tools like Positive Pay and ACH Blocks & Filters, you can find some peace of mind that you’re doing the right things for your business. And when you care about your business’s security, it shows that you care about your customers, employees and other stakeholders.
For more information on how the fraud management services work or how to get set up, contact your local Treasury Management Sales Officer – they’re the first step to enhancing your fraud protection. Our team is always ready to discuss ideas, opportunities and options for your business as we work toward your goals together.
Want to learn more about common business fraud and scams? Check out our Scam & Fraud Alerts for businesses.