Prevent Wire Fraud

Business Banking, Personal Banking

August 22, 2017

Wire fraud grew almost 400% in 2016, according to FBI statistics.  An increase in digital payments and wire transfers have given fraudsters new ways to compromise your accounts.  When you or your business are conducting wire transfers, consider the following topics to avoid becoming a victim of wire fraud:

How Did You Receive Payment Instructions?  For typical transactions, payment instructions will be specific.  For instance, the receiving party will provide all of the required information on an official form or document.  Phone numbers, e-mail addresses and websites can be reproduced by fraudsters, but public search can be used to verify. Here are a few signs to look for when receiving payment instructions:

  • Does the company have a website?
  • Does their digital presence seem to match what they sell?
  • When the company is “Googled” do they show as a scam?
  • Can you call a publicly available number to confirm, such as the bank customer line?

Do You Know The Recipient Of The Payment?  Many fraudulent transactions are executed by a person or small group of people who try to gain access to your information by posing as a potential customer.  Even if they are known to you, call and confirm the name and email address of the person on the other end.  If they are unknown to you, look for these common themes used by fraudsters:

  • They are from a foreign country or out of your typical market.
  • They are representing either the United States Government or a foreign government.
  • They will not meet with you in person.
  • All of your interaction has been over e-mail.

Does The Transaction Seem Normal?  You have executed thousands of legitimate transactions over the course of your professional career.  It is a rare occasion where one of those transactions is done differently than all of the others.   Here are a few transaction types that might raise a red flag:

  • You have won something for which you did not register.
  • You are asked to send money as part of a job application.
  • You are asked to pay for a good or service by paying a third unrelated party.
  • You are asked to receive payment (in the case of selling a car) via a P2P site.
  • You are asked to provide information for a “refund.”
  • The offer seems “too good to be true.”

Execute Best Practices For IT Security – The first line of defense against fraud for any business is to execute best practices when it comes to IT security.  Adhering to simple rules can drastically reduce your risk of fraud.  Here are a few best practices that you should consider:

  • Change passwords every 60 days.
  • Use complex passwords, include letters, numbers and symbols with no meaning.
  • Check credit card statements monthly.
  • Keep card information secure.
  • Keep firewalls and malware defense up to date.

If you have any questions about wire fraud, please call your 662-247-1454 or click here for more information.