Avoiding Fraud

There are a lot of companies and organisations out there that have to face corporate fraud. After all, individuals aren’t the only ones that have to protect themselves. However, what we see most often is the illegal use of the company or organisation’s name and / or logo. The activity is different, and perhaps hard to deal with, but there are certain things that can be done.

First, there are fraudulent offers. People use the name or logo of a corporate entity or an organisation in order to request personal information or payments of sorts. The only way to ensure people are not caught in this is to inform as many customers as possible. Another way to reduce the impact of these fraudulent activities is to have a legal service set up for that.

The most famous fraud is the infamous phishing scam. Although there is a lot of media attention on the matter, several innocent victims still get caught. One must remember that corporations and organisations would never request personal information over the internet unless it was fully secure, but emails are not the method for that.

The information requested by these scammers is usually the name, address, your personal ID number, account numbers and even passwords. Some go as far as requesting your credit card number.

There are several ways to avoid being caught by these scammers. One is to always verify directly with the company or organisation if they sent that message. Another one is to sign up to their email mailouts, so you will be sure that you know from which address the messages would come from. Then, make sure you never reply to one of these messages, and never open an attachment included with these emails. Always make sure you are verifying your bank account and credit card balance regularly in order to catch any fraudulent activity in it. Lastly, keep your anti-virus and firewall up to date.

These are ways for individuals to stop scammers, and these tips and tricks should be included in your messages to your customers in order to avoid seeing them get caught by one of them.

Now, for your company, you need to know a few tips and tricks as well. For starters, you need to be careful with the company’s credit cards. Make sure only the authorised personnel uses them. Cut or destroy all old cards that you don’t use anymore. Ensure you know where all the good cards are at all times. Double-check the statements. Shred all of the papers for credit card offers that you receive, as well as any paperwork that you do not want to keep.

Make sure your employees follow all of the same rules for their information at work – the company’s bank account, credit card information, the address, the employee names, etc. – as for individual phishing scams. The same vigilance applies here. No company requests payment information by phone.

Always work hard at keeping your website and database safe from hackers. You need to have a safe system to store information – whether on paper or electronically – and another safe way to destroy any unwanted information. A shredder is mandatory for all paper and you need to clean your computers regularly. There are a lot of hidden spots for information to get stored in computers, so make sure your technician knows what he or she is doing.

Keep everyone’s systems secure from one another. Every person who has access to any form of delicate information should have a personal password that he or she never shares with anyone – not even the computer technician.

Keep the information your request from your customers to a minimum. Make sure that any computer screen is turned away from the public so that no one can read the details.

And last but not least, educate your employees and customers. This is a detail that cannot be stressed enough.

Photo credit: flickr.com

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