Fraud is one of those words that can put the fear into even the most confident of businesses. Being a victim of fraud within your small business can be a real kiss of death if you’re not able to rectify any damage done and make up for your losses. So to help your business stay one step ahead of those who’d like to defraud your company, here are three ways in which your small business could be at risk of fraud.
If your business is one of the millions that does any portion of your business over the phone, you could be at risk for fraud in this arena. According to Avivah Litan, a contributor to Forbes.com, some of the most common ways that businesses authenticate a caller to ensure they have the right person who also has the right access to information are asking security questions, using PINs, and checking caller ID. While these can be sufficient in some cases, it’s relatively easy for someone to forge this information and gain access to an account they shouldn’t. For this reason, it may be a good idea for your company to look into a telephone service provider that offers additional safeguards for authenticated callers.
Credit Card and Check Fraud
Another way in which your clients or customers could be the source of your fraud is through credit card or check fraud. Luckily, both of these types of fraud aren’t as common at they once were, but there are definitely still cases in which a business becomes involved in legal troubles due to their involvement with fraudulent checks or credit cards. To protect yourself from this, BizFilings.com recommends ensuring your employees are educated as to what to be on the lookout for in determining if a check or credit card is fraudulent or not. It’s also a good idea to have a procedure for checking a customer or client’s identification in order to verify if they are who they say they are and have the authority to use the form of payment they’re using.
While the other two examples were ways in which someone outside your company could be attempting to defraud you, payroll fraud is a type of fraud that often take place right under the nose of business owners. Therefore, if you have someone within your company or an outside service that takes care of your payroll, you should always be vigilant about protecting yourself against potential payroll fraud. Matt Garrett, a contributor to Entrepreneur.com, shares that the best way to keep payroll fraud from happening within your company is to personally reconcile accounts and payroll records each month or quarterly at the latest.
If you’re concerned about being protected against fraud in your small business, consider using the tips mentioned above to not get caught unawares.