According to purplesec cyber-security and fraud attacks have surged by 600% in 2020.
Small business owners find themselves particularly vulnerable to fraud attacks due to:
Lack of preparedness against network security breaches.
Perception that small businesses, because of size, are not targets of fraud.
Inconsistent accounting processes, controls and reviews.
Below are some of the most frequent fraud attacks against small businesses and some tips to safeguarding your financial assets:
Many small business owners find their checking accounts in overdraft long after fraudsters have cashed or deposited fake checks. Fraudsters are finding creative ways of staying under the radar by copying and writing multiple checks in small odd amounts. To safeguard cash, try to avoid issuing checks to pay expenses. Do your best to set up electronic payments to vendors, employees and creditors. You may also want to activate alerts to your mobile device requiring your authorization for check clearing.
Credit Card Fraud
Scammers no longer need to have possession of your credit card to process unauthorized transactions. Exercise due card where you use your credit cards. Also, try not to save your credit card information on your laptop or give out your credit card information by phone. We may also have the tendency to save credit card information on a retailer’s website, try not to. You never know when those companies will experience a security breach exposing your financial data to scammers. You should also dedicate at least one day each month to reviewing your business financial data just to make sure only legitimate expenses are charged to your account.
Financial and Personal Data Theft
Beware of phone calls requesting your business and personal data. Do not disclose your social security number, Date of Birth, or Full Name by phone. Legitimate financial, regulatory and governmental institutions will never ask you to reveal your social security or other personal identifying information by phone.
Phishing by Email, Text Messaging and Phone Call
For some people scamming is a full-time job. Be on high alert for emails, phone calls and text messages informing you of potential fraudulent transactions on your account. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a bank representative, hang up! The best thing to do is research the number for your bank and call the number on their website. If you receive a text message with a number, do not fall victim by calling the number in the text message.
Try to also limit the use of words when you pick up a call. Take note that your voice and words may be recorded and used as authentication. If you receive an email from an unknown source, mouse over the link to check the sender’s legitimacy or do not click the link at all.
Email encryption, unchecking remember password, setting up alerts, double-authentication and strong security questions and answers are some additional ways you can protect your business from external fraud. You should also consider increasing the frequency in which you review your financial data. Move the accounting reviews from bi-annually to once per month. Paying close attention to your financial data whether you’re a big business or small one is crucial.
For continued dialogue on safeguarding your business from external fraud contact us at Specialists Accounting, we will be happy to work with you.