Did you know that 1.2 million fraudulent checks are written in the U.S. every day? Most victims of check fraud are businesses just like yours. In fact, according to the Association for Financial Professionals 2016 Payments Fraud and Control Survey, an astonishing 73% of businesses experienced actual or attempted check fraud in 2015.
This may come as a surprise because use of paper checks is steadily declining for business-to-business transactions. However, checks continue to be the payment method most often exposed to fraud because they are still the most frequently used payment method, ahead of ACH transactions, credit and debit cards. That means your business is still at risk for check fraud. Criminals have a variety of alteration and counterfeiting methods to unlawfully acquire your money.
Don’t let your guard down! It’s important to follow good practices and procedures to help protect against becoming a victim.
Checks are the most often targeted payment method and account for the largest loss due to fraud. It is critical that you implement protective measures. If fraudsters are successful in their attacks, they will persist in targeting the same business repeatedly until they are caught. This means it’s essential to have proactive security measures to help prevent infiltration.
How to help protect your business.
There are several effective ways to guard against check fraud. A good first step is to review the checks you use and all processes related to check usage. Safeguard offers a short online risk assessment to see where you need to bolster your defenses.
Here are some best practices to consider implementing right away:
- Use high-security checks with 10 or more security features including foil hologram.
- Store checks under lock and key in a safe, controlled environment away from signature stamps.
- Make sure more than one person handles accounts payable.
- Reconcile bank statements daily.
A more comprehensive list of best practices to manage your risk is available here.
Don’t fight fraud alone!
Safeguard can help! If you want additional assistance developing proactive security measures to help prevent check fraud, call a Safeguard representative today for a free consultation!