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7/2/2020

Three tips to help keep your business safe from scammers

Fraud is on the rise with the current pandemic, and now is not the time to let your cyber guard down.

Scammers use widespread events like this to take advantage of people and companies, and with so many of us working from home now, it’s important to keep in mind the following safeguards when using online banking sites. These three tips can help.

1. Keep employer data secure when working remotely

If you’re using your personal devices when working remotely, be sure to follow your company’s IT department policies and report any suspicion of viruses or computer performance issues to the appropriate authority at your company. Examples include:

  • Reduction in processing speed
  • The computer locks up, reboots or restarts unexpectedly
  • Unusual pop-up windows 
  • The computer cannot be restarted or shut down

2. Avoid business email compromise situations

A prevalent ploy known as phishing involves fraudulent communications designed to trick you into divulging personal, financial or account information. These scams can include emails that connect you to fraudulent websites and request personal information. 

Phishing emails have also been used as vehicles for malware or computer viruses that silently capture information, such as passwords and user IDs, from the infected computer to commit wire and ACH fraud. 

Avoid clicking links in email messages, even if they appear to be legitimate. Instead, make a quick phone call to confirm the email can be trusted or type the legitimate URL into your web browser.

3. Obtain a secondary form of authorization before making changes that would impact any type of money transfer – check, ACH or wire transfer.

Fraudsters have tried to steal billions of dollars from businesses by posing as company executives and ordering huge wire transfers. These scams can be in the form of emails, phone calls or texts and may refer to specific individuals or business functions such as payroll, human resources and accounting. A common tactic is to convey a sense of urgency and/or secrecy. Often, the emails arrive late in the day, just before a holiday or weekend or when the purported sender is out of the office. 

If you receive an email that appears suspicious, be sure to check the authenticity of the email prior to performing any wire transfers. Never act upon changes to payment instructions from an email or fax message alone. Instead, check the validity of the instructions from the requester with another trusted party at the company, using a different communication method.  

The above examples are not comprehensive, there are many and varied types of scams out there. While the convenience of online transactions and the internet makes our life easier, we must take reasonable precautions to keep safe. For more information on current fraud issues, bookmark these websites and check back as they are updated regularly:

Scams and fraud attempts are unfortunately on the rise, but by staying vigilant, we can better protect our businesses and our personal data. 

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