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November 7, 2019

It seems there are spooks lurking around every corner, so it is a good time to be careful – especially when working to protect your money.  Consumers and businesses need to be diligent in knowing how to protect themselves from fraud.  Being aware of the scams is the first step in preventing fraud, and the second step is knowing how it can be prevented.

Consumers Theft and Scams

Consumer theft is not limited to just identity theft and stolen credit cards.  We are now seeing an increased number of robocalls, car warranty scams, jury duty scams and the list goes on and on.  We know to keep our wallets and phones safe, but it is important to talk with your family members, friends and neighbors about how fraudsters are tricking or intimidating people into sharing their bank or credit card information.

We must educate individuals on the potential threats that lie behind unfamiliar email addresses or unknown text message requests.  Continue to reduce or eliminate writing checks by utilizing bill pay functionalities available through your financial institution.   If you must write checks, take them to the drop boxes located inside the post office to be mailed, eliminating the possibility of checks being intercepted, altered or duplicated.

Business Theft and Scams

Business theft and scams can be easily prevented.  Employees need specific training to identify possible business email compromise or know when they should not click on suspicious links. Businesses should work to reduce or eliminate the use of checks. In their place, utilize a credit card or send funds electronically using Automatic Clearing House (ACH) for payment.  Business account fraud is preventable by utilizing Positive Pay services available from most financial institutions.

Payee Positive Pay compares the payee name, check number and dollar amount to a file that you upload whenever checks are issued.  If the information on items presented for payment does not match the file, the item is reviewed, and you make a pay or return decision.  ACH Positive Pay protects against unauthorized electronic debits, allowing a pay or return decision on items in question. Positive Pay puts you in the driver’s seat to keep your business account information safe and secure.

Talk with your financial institution today about these key fraud prevention services!

Stay safe!

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