Sounding the Alarm on Small Business Fraud
Written by Beth Korth, Senior Vice President - Director of Treasury Management
Recently, a survey of small business owners revealed that almost half believe they’re not big enough to be targets of fraud. The reality is businesses of all sizes have become fraud targets. As humans, we inherently believe that we’re immune to catastrophes occurring elsewhere: “That will never happen here. We are smarter than that.” Sadly, it happens every day.
As a bank, we have a front row seat to the fraud and fraud attempts that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) experience on a daily basis. Your business could be impacted by fraud through your interaction with vendors, your customers, even your employees. You’re one heartbeat away from them. Less than 1% of fraud losses and security breaches ever make the news. Fraud activity has increased to a level where it has become a daily and weekly event. As a bank, we feel it is important to educate people about the types of fraud that are happening. There are very important things you are likely not doing that can help you avoid losing thousands of dollars in a fraud scheme.
We will be kicking off an SME article series that will provide real life examples of the most recent fraud attacks that have been experienced by local businesses. Our intention is to educate and proactively STOP fraud before it happens. If our true stories can help one small business avoid losing money, we are glad to help.
Along with rationalizing away fraud attempts, humans are also very good at zoning out and rushing through the day and multi-tasking, sometimes with careless behavior. Routines become monotonous quickly, we let our guard down, and become less vigilant over time. Even the very latest fraud tools from First Business Bank or any other bank won’t help you if people at your company aren’t taking the time and the right steps to implement them correctly.
In the coming weeks, be on the watch for articles detailing a real crime involving local small businesses that lost money to a fraudster through:
- Check Fraud
- Business Email Compromise
- Deposit Fraud
It’s not in our nature to leave you with scary stories. We will also discuss important steps, training for your staff, systems for your business, and other best practices to thwart fraud attempts. Please call us if you’d like to discuss the specifics of preventing fraud at your business. We speak too often to frantic business owners in a panic over fraud after it has happened and there is little to be done to recover funds and private information. Let’s have more conversations about making sure it doesn’t happen on your watch in your own yard.