Finance News & Insights

New record high: 82% of companies recently hit by payment fraud

Today, your finance team must do more than ever before to ensure that company money stays where it belongs. 

Payment fraud just spiked to a new high. A staggering 82% of companies said they were hit last year, according to the new 2019 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey.

Of course, you encourage your team to always be vigilant and work against fraud. But with the odds looking even scarier now, you may want to take more proactive action.

What’s happening and what you can do

Check out some key highlights from the AFP report and how you can better secure your company today:

1. Inbox equals big losses. Business email compromise (BEC) scams have been on the rise for a while now. But for the first time, the amount of monetary loss increased, too: 80% of companies were hit, and 54% of those incurred real financial loss from those attacks.

Of course, you properly train your team to spot BEC scams before money’s transferred. But as this survey shows, fraudsters’ efforts are getting more advanced and employees are still being duped.

So, in case anyone does fall victim, you should ensure your company has a step-by-step plan in place. That may include contacting your bank, insurance company, local law enforcement, etc. And it also doesn’t hurt to revisit your insurance policy to verify it fully addresses such cases.

2. “Safer” payment types being targeted. With the lure of faster payments and new advancements, it’s no wonder why so many companies love Automated Clearing House (ACH). Unfortunately, fraudsters have noticed this, too.

In turn, ACH fraud increased significantly in 2018. Specifically, the percentage of companies that encountered ACH credit fraud jumped to 20% (from 13%), and those who experienced ACH debit fraud rose to 33% (from 28%). What’s more, 25% of companies haven’t gotten advice from their banks on mitigating ACH risks.

That all being said, your team will want to prioritize working and communicating with your banking partners to avoid fraud, especially as ACH changes and more advancements are added. You can also check out and share a plethora of fraud prevention resources straight from NACHA.

3. The more controls, the better. You know the growth of new technology has pros and cons. On the one hand, it can arm Finance with countless new ways to protect payments. On the other hand, it helps fraudsters find fresh, creative ways to try and trick your team.

So, how can you best use technology to your advantage? When companies have a “variety of protective measures,” fraudsters get frustrated and will likely move on to other, easier targets, AFP points out.

That means you should look to add extra layers of security to your computers and payments process anywhere you can – from basics like two-factor authentication and password security to more robust automation.

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