- March 18, 2021
- Posted by: REBL
- Category: Accounting, COVID-19 Q&A, Human Resources
In today’s environment, we are seeing a huge uptick in fraud and it is an ever-increasing threat to all business operators. Today we wanted to warn you of three major areas we are seeing an increase in fraudulent attempts in hopes that you can be better prepared and advise your teams to exercise extra caution as well. Here are three areas to watch out for.
1. Utility Vendor Scams
Fraudsters poise themselves as your utility provider and call asking for payment over the phone or your power will be shut off due to a past due balance. Most citizens will panic as power shutdowns during business operations are disastrous and without thinking will make the payment over the phone. Don’t ever do this! Take the call and amount and then immediately hang up the phone and call your accountant and/or utility provider directly to get the current status of your account. Once you pay these imposters that money is immediately gone and you have little to no recourse to get it back.
2. Check Fraud
Check fraud is rampant and on the rise. It is critical that your accounting team is set up with checks and balances to review and audit checks clearing your bank account. Many times checks will be lifted and altered to change payees, change amounts, and or even deposited multiple times (via mobile deposit scams) and if it is not caught by your accounting team or a protection layer like POS Pay you will have a tough time recouping your funds.
3. Email Phishing
This is when emails are hacked and monitored by fraudsters so that they learn the writing style and types of emails typically sent. The imposter will then send an email disguised as the original sender, like your boss for example, and request an invoice to be paid via wire or check. Without thinking your employee will then turn around and fulfill the request thinking they are completing a task assigned to them by their boss. It is crucial you teach your team to be aware of carefully reviewing the exact email address so as to not be fooled. It is also highly recommended that you implement a two-step authentication process in your system for approving payments. For example by email request and then also followed up by a verbal confirmation. Advise your team to NEVER send out wires without a verbal confirmation.
Fraud is a scary issue and can keep many business owners awake at night worrying about how to protect their company. The best recourse is to be vigilant and on alert, teach your teams what to look out for and always approach payment requests with caution. You do not need to operate in fear but rather with confidence in knowing you have implemented all the right protection possible and put the best line of defense on watch. If you want more tips on how to protect your business or what to watch out forgive our FLORES team a call today. at (619) 588-2411.