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Hands typing on laptop with graphics of technology symbols

Protecting yourself and your business from fraud

Fighting fraud involves implementing various strategies and tools to protect against fraudulent activities. Fraud prevention is an ongoing process that requires vigilance and adaptability to stay ahead of evolving tactics. These simple yet effective tips can help.

1. Reconcile all accounts, including credit cards, as often as feasible.

By reconciling accounts daily, a company can catch anything suspicious and return fraudulent transactions within an appropriate timeline. When a company uses fraud services such as Positive Pay, the company essentially automates a daily reconciliation requiring little additional effort. The company's credit card account should also be reconciled regularly. With card management solutions, the company can spot-audit transactions, download to various accounting software packages, as well as automate a daily transaction file directly into the company's expense management solution.

Remember, most unauthorized ACH debits must be reported within 24 hours of the charge. If it isn’t reported, ACH rules disallow the return and therefore it is charged to your company’s account.

2. Do not allow any employee to reconcile any accounts that they also issue checks or electronic payments for.

Separation of duties is a sound solution for internal fraud. When a company allows the issuance of payments by one person, that same person "could" approve a payment that was fraudulently made. Internal fraud does exist and by enacting the practical separation of duties process, internal fraud is less likely to occur.

3. Report all fraud to First Financial Bank immediately - our Business Support Center can be reached at (866) 604-7946.

While some forms of fraud cannot be returned - wires and some ACH debits - the bank is able to work with other banks associated with the fraudulent transactions. By reporting all suspicious transactions to the bank, you have a better chance of recovering losses. Even if you only suspect fraud, your bank should be able to pinpoint the transaction and confirm or deny the validity of it. Your bank is your financial partner, and combating fraud is a joint effort.

4. Keep all authorized signors and online banking administrators updated with your bank.

With employee turn-over comes the need to routinely update account signers and online banking administrators. It is prudent and incumbent on each company to work with the bank to ensure you have only those in a position to make banking decisions and access to the company's bank accounts, as signers and administrators. Companies should be reviewing signers and administrators annually and making necessary changes.

5. Protect the company network by using a firewall.

A firewall can protect your computer or network by blocking unauthorized access to your system, cyberattacks, and the spread of malware. Privacy is important, and with a firewall, you are protecting your business information – including credit card numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information. Make sure to regularly update your firewall rules to ensure they reflect current security requirements.