Fraud Prevention Strategies

To help prevent fraud from both inside and outside of your company, vigilance in monitoring your policies, employee behaviors, and accounts is one of your best defenses. Fraud-fighting tools from California Bank & Trust can help you implement a layered defense approach to reduce the risk of fraud.

Fraud-Fighting Tools

Accounts Receivable Fraud

  • Separate financial responsibilities and access rights to financial data among two or more employees
  • Be wary of employees who live beyond their means, refuse to take vacations or seem unusually close with a vendor or client

ACH Payments Fraud

  • Access online accounts and services only through one or a few computers that are dedicated to financial transactions to prevent malware downloads
  • Reconcile all accounts daily to monitor for any unauthorized ACH debits
  • Follow the precautions recommended in the Online Account Takeover section

Wire Fraud

  • Adopt company policies so that any request for a wire transfer—whether by phone or email—is verified by calling a known phone number.
  • Set wire transfer limits

Credit Card Fraud

  • Adopt company policies for use of your business credit cards that:
    • Assure that credit cards are only used to make purchases on trusted and secure websites
    • Set usage restrictions for transaction types and amounts
    • Prohibit sending credit card numbers through regular email, which is not secure and can be easily compromised
  • Set up Purchase Alerts and Mobile Card Fraud Alerts for all of your debit and credit cards
  • Review account activity frequently

Check Fraud

For protecting your own business checking account:

  • Pay bills online when possible
  • Mail checks directly from United States Postal Service mail boxes
  • Use a special check writing pen (available at most office supply stores) to help prevent check washing
  • Order checks with chemically-sensitive paper to deter alteration
  • Review your bank account often to verify checks have cleared

For protection against accepting fraudulent checks:

  • Train employees on the signs of a fraudulent check, including:
  • Missing address or check number
  • Mismatching fonts
  • Handwritten additions
  • Smooth edges without perforations
  • Stains or discolorations
  • Being wary of a low check number. Approximately 90 percent of bad checks are drawn from accounts that are less than a year old.

Online Account Takeover

  • Maintain up-to-date computer security features, including operating systems, firewalls and antivirus software
  • Adopt company policies to ensure employees:
    • Delete unsolicited emails
    • Never download or install files from unknown sources
    • Never click on web ads or pop-ups
  • Always access the bank's website by typing the web address or using a bookmark, never by clicking links
  • Be sure the "s" appears in the web address at the top of your browser ("https://") when you visit the California Bank & Trust website
  • Restrict web usage on computers that are used to access online banking to prevent the installation of malware

General Fraud

  • Educate employees about fraud risks and train them on prevention
  • Set strict password criteria
  • Review privacy policies routinely
  • Dispose of sensitive and unneeded client information securely
  • Notify us immediately if you suspect fraudulent account activity or if credentials are compromised online or due to stolen cards
  • Review your California Bank & Trust account and service agreements that include customer protections (e.g., Visa® Zero Liability program) and responsibilities. For example, under your Treasury Management Master Services Agreement, you are responsible for your Internal Security Controls and all instructions we receive with your Access Credentials even if not actually sent by you.