Please be aware of the following three trending fraud risks that are resulting in significant financial losses for businesses both locally and nationally.
By sharing this information to local businesses, it is our goal to increase awareness and ensure your business doesn’t fall victim to these effective scams and suffer financial loss.
Wire Fraud - Management or finance department e-mail accounts are hacked and subsequently used to send fraudulent wire requests to appropriate staff with wire authority within your company. Those staff members are not making phone calls back to the requestor to verify the request is legitimate. The staff member proceeds with sending wire request to the bank. Once this money is sent by the bank, the funds cannot be recovered, and the business incurs the entire financial loss.
Best Practice: Do not trust e-mail or text message requests from coworkers for payments and transfers, especially wires. Always make a phone call back to the requestor or speak with them in person if possible. Verbally confirm the dollar amount and destination of the funds.
Invoice Fraud - Invoice fraud occurs when a fraudster sends a notification to your company that the vendor’s payment details have changed and provides alternative details to send future funds. This could also occur by sending your company a fake invoice with payment details different from the standard invoice you receive from that vendor.
The fraudster is claiming to be from your company’s genuine supplier or possibly an internal employee asking you to pay the invoice. Funds are often quickly transferred so recovering money from fraudulent accounts can be extremely difficult.
Best Practice: Confirm details of any new or amended payment instructions verbally with appropriate vendor contacts on file. Maintain a trusted spreadsheet or list of vendors with their appropriate contacts and payment details and reference the list when sending payments. Never trust new instructions provided via e-mail, letter, or invoice.
Payroll fraud – This typically involves a letter, phishing e-mail or hacked e-mail account where the scammer pretends to be one of your employees. Names of employees within your company can easily be obtained from social media, company websites, and circulating e-mail lists on the internet. The e-mail will request will be sent to your HR or accounting staff involved with payroll. The request includes instructions to change the address or bank account information in which to send future payroll checks or deposits.
Best Practice: Once again, do not trust e-mail, letters, or text messages from employees requesting payroll changes. Utilize an approved internal form for these requests and verify verbally whether in person or return phone call.
Please stay vigilant and adopt best practices to keep your business safe!