Fraud – whether perpetrated via cyber scams, identity theft, chargeback fraud, payment and banking fraud, and more –poses a significant risk to businesses of all sizes. Incidents of fraud skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more business transactions took place online, and they continue to grow. According to a Juniper research report, e-commerce retailers alone are at risk of losing over $20 billion in 2021 due to online fraudulent activities, an 18% increase over last year.
Payment and Banking Fraud
Payment and banking fraud is another threat that businesses face, whether in the form of bounced checks, chargeback fraud, unauthorized transactions, stolen credit card numbers, etc.
Some of the ways to help prevent this kind of fraud are:
- Make sure you’re aware of the latest frauds/scams
- Encrypt all payment transactions
- Partner with a secure payment processor
- Never give out credit card or ACH information in an email or over the phone
- Don’t share confidential banking information, avoid using paper checks, and use electronic banking methods
When the volume of ACH transactions for your business increases, so does the potential for fraudulent activity. Valley’s ACH Positive Pay Service gives you the ability to review all incoming debits before they are cleared for deposit, block specific transactions from being processed, and prevent potentially fraudulent electronic withdrawals or credits posted to your account. With custom filters, you can choose to block suspicious ACH debits and credits until you’ve had a chance to authorize them.
If you think your business has been the victim of fraud, report it immediately at the Federal Trade Commission’s fraud-fighting site at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The theft of digital information via cyber fraud is the most commonly reported fraud against businesses, which is why it’s important to put a solid cybersecurity strategy in place to protect your customers’ information, your business’ reputation and avoid legal issues or financial loss. Here are some key tips recommended by the FCC to safeguard your business against cyberattacks.
- Establish and enforce cybersecurity policies and procedures to protect customer data and other sensitive information
- Continuously train employees to recognize the latest scams and how to avoid them
- Update all devices to the latest security software, web browsers, and operating systems and use anti-virus software and firewalls
- Utilize encryption software for mobile devices used by remote workers and ensure all employees have separate user accounts so you can track any suspicious activity
- Back up all business data regularly and store it in the Cloud
- Secure WIFI networks with SSID and password protection
- Work with banks and credit card processors to safeguard payment information