Privacy is important, especially when it comes to your finances. Get an understanding of identity theft, online and data security and how to stay safe from scams. The videos below highlight some things you can do today to increase your security and help protect yourself against fraud and identity theft.

Click on the links below to view the videos:

Tips to Avoid Small Business Scams

  • Sign up for Positive Pay- ACH positive pay including exceptions for unauthorized ACH activity, automated emails and alerts when exception items are present, and electronic comparison of submitted payee name to the payee on the check image.
  • Keep good records - Keep documentation of all orders and purchases. This will help you to detect bogus accounts and invoices
  • Be extra careful with payment procedures - Establish payment authorization procedures, including a multi-person approval process for transactions above a certain dollar threshold.
  • Avoid some payment methods - Wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, and gift cards are scammers’ preferred payment methods. Always confirm that an authorized source verifies any requests for payment with untraceable methods such as these. Also, try to pay by a written company. That way, a paper trail has been created
  • Double check vendors - Make sure that the business billing you is a business you’re familiar with and normally do business with. If not, question it. Get the name of the person you speak with, the company name, address, phone and website.
  • Be careful what information you share - Do not give out information about your business unless you know what the information will be used for. Never provide personal information or financial details to anyone you don’t know.
  • Protect your devices - Make sure you have proper computer protection software and a firewall. Don’t click on links inside unsolicited e-mails. They could spread malicious software or viruses.
  • Spread the word - If your employees know about the scam, they’ll be more likely to spot it. Tell your colleagues, too.
Fraud Prevention for Small Businesses Webinar

How to Avoid Frauds & Scams (Provided by the FDIC)

There are numerous scams presented daily to consumers so you must always exercise caution when it comes to your personal and financial information. The following tips may help prevent you from becoming a fraud victim.

  • Be aware of incoming e-mail or text messages that ask you to click on a link because the link may install malware that allows thieves to spy on your computer and gain access to your information;
  • Be suspicious of any e-mail or phone requests to update or verify your personal information because a legitimate organization would not solicit updates in an unsecured manner for information it already has;
  • Confirm a message is legitimate by contacting the sender (it is best to look up the sender’s contact information yourself instead of using contact information in the message);
  • Assume any offer that seems too good to be true, is probably a fraud;
  • Be on guard against fraudulent checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, or electronic fund transfers sent to you with requests for you to wire back part of the money;
  • Be wary of unsolicited offers that require you to act fast;
  • Check your security settings on social network sites. Make sure they block out people who you don’t want seeing your page;
  • Research any “apps” before downloading and don’t assume an “app” is legitimate just because it resembles the name of your bank or other company you are familiar with;
  • Be leery of any offers that pressure you to send funds quickly by wire transfer or involve another party who insists on secrecy; and
  • Beware of Disaster-Related Financial Scams.   Con artists take advantage of people after catastrophic events by claiming to be from legitimate charitable organizations when, in fact, they are attempting to steal money or valuable personal information.

Cybersecurity: How can you protect your entity from a cyber-attack? 

Adopt a Three-Step Strategy 

1. Select an industry recognized cybersecurity framework(s), for example: 

2. Establish a budget for meeting your cybersecurity strategy within a reasonable time. 

3. Hire an audit firm to review the implementation of your framework(s) rather than to review compliance with the minimum regulatory guidelines . The goal is to ensure key controls in your cybersecurity frameworks have been implemented and are functioning as intended. 

Complete the Ransomware Self-Assessment Tool 

The Bankers Electronic Crimes Task Force developed a Ransomware Self-Assessment Tool for businesses to use to close the gaps in security. Use the RSAT for businesses which is perfect for businesses to help ensure survival against this global threat. 

Building a Cybersecurity Program from Scratch 

For institutions that haven’t done so already, begin building a cybersecurity program by referencing trusted resources such as the Center for Internet Security Controls . Such resources address challenges faced by all entities. They are easily digestible, non-technical, and will help executives develop a comprehensive, responsive cybersecurity program in line with best practices.

Beneficial Ownership Information

Beginning on January 1, 2024, many companies in the United States will have to report information about their beneficial owners, i.e., the individuals who ultimately own or control the company. Companies will have to report the information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). FinCEN is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. More information can be found below.