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Understanding Wire and ACH Fraud

Fraud can be prevented from occurring within your company, but you must be proactive about cybersecurity.

  • Here are some best practices to help prevent online fraud:

  • Make sure to have a company policy and procedure regarding wire transfers and other banking activity, and that all the employees within the company understand and practice the same.

  • Be wary of suspicious email-only wire transfer requests and requests involving urgency.

  • Always verify the authenticity of each transaction such as an ACH or a wire transfer request within your company by calling the authorizer on their direct line, and NOT just by replying to the email or calling the phone number listed in the email.

  • Always follow this practice even if the email is received from a known party/vendor.

  • Make use of call-back verification process when setting up payment instructions for a new vendor or making changes to payment instructions of an existing vendor.

  • It is a best practice to use a second individual to verify the transaction within your business for authorization of all online transfer or payment requests.

  • Monitor your company’s bank accounts daily.

  • Never share username and password information for online services with third-party providers or to other individuals.

  • Avoid using an automatic login feature, that saves username and password for online banking.

  • Never access bank, brokerage or other financial services information at internet cafes, public libraries, etc. Unauthorized software may have been installed to trap your account number and sign-on information leaving you vulnerable to possible fraud.

  • Ensure your device has virus protection and security software which are updated regularly.

What should you do if you think you have been a victim of fraud?

  1. Act quickly. Immediately escalate any suspicious transactions to your bank, particularly ACH or wire transfers. These types of transactions occur quickly and difficult to recover. However, immediate escalation may help in preventing further losses.
  2. Contact the wire service that transmitted the funds. They will have records showing where the funds were sent. If reported quickly, they may be able to freeze the funds and open their own investigation.
  3. Contact the FBI. The FBI is usually the authority to investigate wire fraud. Go to the FBI’s Report Threats and Crime page to submit a report.
  4. Reach out to your company’s IT team. They should scan your organization’s computer network for any signs of malware or other affected systems.

BE ALERT! Knowing how a scammer works and being aware of the resources available can help you protect yourself and avoid cyber fraud.