Many people are still waiting for their second stimulus payment to arrive; fraud once again becomes an immediate concern. With huge numbers of checks and direct deposit payments surging from the federal government to individuals all over the country, now is a prime time for fraudsters to pull out all the stops in order to steal some of that money for themselves.
In this limited series, we’ll talk about the top two common fraud types and trends, as well as some solutions for mitigating the risk to your business and your customers. We’ll end with the second most common type – banking and payment fraud.
To read the first article in this series on cyber fraud, click here.
Banking and Payment Fraud
Banking and payment fraud is recently on the rise. This is due, in part, to the vast number of stimulus and relief payments being disbursed to aid individuals and businesses as they struggle with the financial hardships that accompany the COVID-19 pandemic.
Payment fraud includes things like bounced checks, unauthorized transactions, lost or stolen credit or debit cards, and fake refund or return requests. According to a Hacked article discussing the biggest cybersecurity breaches of 2020, information from “over 30 million payment cards appeared for sale on the underground black marketplace Joker’s Bazaar.” This information was from a breach in the Wawa convenience store chain’s payment software.
This is one of the larger, more damaging examples, but breaches in cybersecurity come in all shapes and sizes. And since the 2020 holiday season set new records for e-commerce with more gains expected in 2021 and beyond, digital and banking payment cybersecurity will get more important over time.
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) offers 10 cybersecurity tips for small businesses. We’ve included some of them below and also pulled insights from a variety of other sources.
Employ Best Practices on Payment Cards
Payment card best practices include simple things like signing the back of your card when you get it and more in-depth things like checking website authenticity before inputting card information. Here are some of the top best practices to prevent payment and card fraud.
Whether it’s a personal debit or credit card, company expense account, or a payment app like PayPal or Venmo, it’s best to keep your account information and access details to yourself.
Your physical card can be lost or stolen, but that happens much less frequently than your account information being breached in an online or database cyberattack.
This means you should only use your card for purchases on websites you trust. If you aren’t sure if a website is safe, here’s an article called “How to Tell If a Website is Legit in 10 Easy Steps.”
Automate Bill Payments
If you don’t have to write checks, you can mitigate your risk of check fraud, as it is the payment method most susceptible to fraud than any other. By automating bill payments, you can skip missed payment issues and circumvent any vulnerabilities you might have had if you were writing and sending checks.
This is effective in the reverse if you are a business. By encouraging customers and clients to pay online, you can cut down on the number of checks your business receives, which then reduces the chances that you or one of your employees will have to deal with instances of check fraud that could ultimately result in non-payment.
Online Banking Best Practices
Online banking is the way of the future. You know it, we know it, and unfortunately, scammers and other cyber criminals know it, too. Many banking best practices are similar to payment card best practices, so you should keep your online banking and related details secure, too.
Another best practice that has stopped millions of fraud attempts in their tracks is self-audits and enabling alerts. Incredible Bank recommends you review your account activity daily, and you can do this through credit card and banking apps or websites. Just be sure not to store the login information somewhere that can be easily found, copied, or stolen.
Partner with a Secure Payment Processor
Every single website that accepts payments needs to have a reliable and safe payment processor. ReliaFund offers payment processing services like ACH processing, online payments, and other powerful features like reporting and reconciliation to create payment flexibility for your business. Contact us to learn more.