Fraud Prevention Tips For Small Businesses

Despite the best efforts of cyber-security firms, fraudsters continue to adapt and create new schemes. However, fraud prevention can help turn the tide and stop these heists in their tracks.

Fraud detection has evolved to include predictive and adaptive analytics, using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. This allows real-time monitoring of activity to identify and flag suspicious behavior, including unusual spikes in account creations, credit card purchases or other financial transactions.

While the most common type of business fraud is bribery and corruption, there are many other kinds of fraudulent activities that businesses need to be prepared for. According to the ACFE 2014 Report, occupational fraud cases last an average of 18 months before being detected, so it’s important for companies of all sizes to have a solid plan in place to prevent and detect fraud.

A strong fraud prevention strategy requires more than a set of rules to be implemented; it should also include training employees and making sure everyone is aware of the company’s policy. This will not only help deter criminal activity, but it can also make employees more aware of the red flags that could indicate fraud.

Another way to prevent fraud is to ensure that all employee accounts are monitored regularly, especially those with large withdrawals or transfers. For example, if an employee has a debit card linked to their checking account and makes a withdrawal in excess of $500, this should be immediately flagged as suspicious. Keeping up with these types of activity can reduce the risk of fraud and save your business money in the long run.

It’s also a good idea to separate personal and business bank and credit card accounts so that hackers can’t access one type of account by hacking the other. This is especially true for small businesses that may only have one person managing accounting activities, which often includes bookkeeping, invoice payments, client receivables and management of petty cash. Ideally, you should have at least two people handling these tasks to lessen the chances of a single person committing fraud and stealing from your business.

Lastly, be sure to shred personal documents that can be used to commit identity theft or fraud before throwing them away. This includes credit card statements, loan offers, medical records, pay stubs and more. You should also keep a secure mailbox to prevent mail fraud, which is a growing issue.

Fraud prevention is a complex issue and it’s nearly impossible to protect your business completely. However, these simple steps can help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of theft or fraud.

Invest in a trusted partner to monitor and protect your business’s assets and reputation. The right partner can provide an array of fraud protection services, including purchase protection, bank account monitoring and real-time alerts. With these tools in place, you can be confident that your business is protected against various fraud and identity threats. And, should a problem arise, you can take immediate action to minimize damage and maintain customer loyalty.