Protecting Your Business From Fraud

Small businesses are a big target for hackers, and even unscrupulous employees. Often start-ups and small companies store a lot of useful data but lack the layers of security to keep that data safe.

Your business stores sensitive data: payroll records, account numbers, vendor information, and customer credit card information – whether your business sees two transactions a day or 2,000 an hour, you have data that needs protection.

According to Amegy Bank Executive Vice President and Retail and Business Banking Division Manager Chuck Bowman, “It’s important to maintain prudent business practices. Our small business customers should review their daily Amegy transactions online. Business owners have 24 hours to report account discrepancies based on fraud.”

To help protect our small business customers, Amegy employs multiple layers of security designed to protect your company’s sensitive information. As a small business owner, you need to know about business fraud and how Amegy Bank’s products can help you prevent losing money to criminals.

Types of Business Fraud

There are many different types of business fraud including:

Payroll Fraud in which employees alter payroll records to adjust their pay rate or the number of hours worked;

Payments Fraud initiated by employees, outside businesses, or a combination of both, and includes illegal electronic funds transfers and check fraud for products and services that were never ordered or delivered;

Cyber Fraud used by hackers to penetrate your business’ computer records to steal banking information including account numbers, PINs, client credit card numbers, and other valuable, sensitive information;

Cash Receipts Fraud in which employees simply steal from the cash drawer or take cash receipts.

Credit and Debit Card Fraud is fraud committed in which a payment card is used as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction.

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, businesses are likely to lose 5% of annual revenue to fraud committed by both internal and external sources. Do the math, and you will see how quickly fraud can have an impact on your business. It doesn’t take much to put a small business out of business.

Then, call Amegy Bank of Texas for the solutions you may need to reduce the risk of business fraud.

Fraud Solutions From The Experts At Amegy

“We’ve developed a number of tools for business owners to help prevent fraudulent business activity,” Bowman explained, “including ACH Positive Pay Advantage, Positive Pay Advantage, and Positive Pay Advantage with Payee Match. These banking services detect fraud quickly and add more layers of fraud protection to all business activities.”  

Amegy’s ACH Positive Pay Advantage tracks electronic funds transfers to protect them from unauthorized access, and, using Amegy’s customized filters and detailed permissions access, you know who’s moving company money – and where.

Positive Pay Advantage from Amegy helps defend against check fraud by providing early warnings of checking irregularities like encoding errors or multiple postings of the same check.

Positive Pay Advantage With Payee Match adds another layer of security to your business accounts. Your company provides a list of payees and Amegy Bank matches written checks and payees to identify potential fraudulent activity that needs to be investigated. 

Visa® Purchase Alerts1 send you an email or a one way text notification based on certain purchase criteria that you select.

Mobile Card Fraud Alerts2 send you an automatic alert of potentially fraudulent transactions on your debit or credit card. 

“Using these services from Amegy, businesses are better able to track cash in and payments out each day,” Bowman explained, “but it’s still important for small business owners to take additional steps to protect their assets and information.” 

Take A Proactive Approach To Business Fraud

“There are a number of steps business owners can take to better protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud,” Bowman stated. “We urge all of our business customers to follow common sense protocols to defend against business fraud.”

Develop Anti-Fraud Procedures. Develop processes that track all accounting operations including billing, payment collections, and payroll.  Your company’s CPA can create internal controls that separate accounting duties of staff, maintain accountability, and require at least two approvals for all expenditures.

“Amegy Bank offers regular updates on new schemes to defraud businesses, so anti-fraud procedures can and should be updated regularly,” according to Bowman.

Protect Sensitive Information. “Black hats” who hack into business computer information develop new schemes all the time, so keeping your business server and work stations protected is critical.

  • Regularly update business security software for patches that address the latest virus or hacker attack.
  • Develop password-protected accounts for each employee with specific permissions. For example, the company purchasing agent may require “view only” access to inventory records, while the company bookkeeper my need more access to financial records to keep them up to date.
  • Instruct employees in safe online practices, i.e. never open an email from an unknown sender or leave a work station unattended.
  • Hire a computer fraud expert to identify weaknesses in your current systems. While these experts may cost the company money, they can also protect sensitive customer and client information.

Use Amegy Bank As A Security Resource. Sync up your office-based security software with Amegy Bank’s security software to receive additional fraud protection. “Amegy can help its clients by linking Amegy’s redundant layers of security with the security systems employed in the business offices of our customers,” Chuck Bowman explained.

Stay Close To Your Business. Review Amegy bank statements when they arrive. Access account information online to identify any suspect activity. Don’t turn over financial management to others. Track all business activity daily to detect fraud early – and report it quickly to protect your assets and your customers.

Talk to your Amegy branch banker and your company accountant to develop strategies and practices to protect your company from cyber fraud, insider embezzlement, and other schemes that may be draining your business of fiscal resources.

“The best advice I give all Amegy clients is that they should take business fraud seriously, and ask their Amegy Bankers for information about products and services available to reduce the risks of fraud unauthorized access to banking information,” Bowman concluded. 

As a business owner, learn about fraud risks and how to protect your business from internal and external sources of fraud.

1Visa Purchase Alerts requires enrollment in Online Banking. Certain transaction notifications are sent to your email account and/or mobile device by SMS text. Message and data rates from your wireless provider may apply.

2Mobile Card Fraud Alerts—Amegy Bank does not charge for the Mobile Card Fraud Alert service. However, standard text message and data rates from your mobile phone carrier may apply. Available services are subject to change without notice. See Terms and Conditions for complete details.

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