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Fraud may be on the rise, but there are simple steps you can take to battle back and protect your business.
According to research by the Association for Financial Professionals, nearly 75% of all American businesses were targeted for payments fraud in 2015. That number matches the largest percentage since 2009, and was up from 62% in 2014. Checks continue to be the common type of fraud, along with business email compromise (BEC) and wire fraud. To put the threat in perspective, the study found that fraud volume rose sharply in 2015, from a monthly average of 156 to 206 successful fraudulent transactions. In addition, the level of fraud as a percentage of revenues also increased from 1.32% to 1.47% year-over-year.
While it’s hard to overstate the impact that fraud can have on your business, it’s also something you have the power to control to some degree. The LexisNexis study notes that the number of prevented fraudulent transactions per month rose from 177 to 236, indicating that businesses are taking steps to fight back.
The best way to protect your business is proactive action. Put a range of internal and external controls in place, creating a “fraud limiting baseline,” ensuring that bases are covered.
Essentially, there are two basic types of internal controls, physical and functional.
Here’s a quick list of physical and functional controls that are fairly easy to put in place and offer business-protection dividends over the long term:
In addition, your bank is there to help with security issues.
Should the need for action arise, you’ll be in a better position to respond after leveraging control procedures and the knowledge of financial partners.