According to the Association of Fraud Examiners (ACFE), businesses lose $3.5 million to fraudsters each year. That’s a significant amount of money, enough to make you furrow your brows if you are in business yourself. Thankfully, you do not have to chip in for that annual fraud cost statistic.
The first order of business, know the different tricks fraudsters have up their sleeves. Be familiar with how phishing works. Get to know the ins and outs of social engineering. Study dumpster diving like you’re scheduled for an exam on the subject. These are just a few examples of common tactics employed by fraudsters. Keep in mind that most of them are tech-savvy enough to pursue strategies that might totally come as a surprise. So never be complacent.
Thankfully, there are methods you can employ to ensure that your business is safe from fraudsters. Some of these might require you to invest funds, but they sure are worth it. Consider them as part of your overhead cost.
Outsource the job
Fraud prevention requires that you become tech-savvy, especially if you’re doing business via e-commerce where you rely on computer and internet technology for the bulk of your operations. If you can’t pull off turning into a tech wiz overnight, there’s no need to sulk.
You can always outsource the job. Service providers are specializing in safeguarding businesses from the attack of fraudsters, specifically those done online. This kind of service will cost you some, but it’s the kind of expense you should not feel bad about.
Background check your employees
This is not you being a bad boss. This is you being a proactive business person who anticipates all potential threats to your entrepreneurial pursuit. Every time you expand your workforce, make sure that you or your human resource staff do a background check on all candidates.
You can use social media for this purpose. That is if your job applicants have public profiles. Now, what should you be looking for? The answer is anything that gives you a hint on what kind of person you’re dealing with.
Alternatively, you can hire professionals working in the field of snooping. Again, this will cost you money. But that’s an investment worth making.
Safeguard your bank accounts
Ideally, you have separate accounts for your business and personal banking transactions. If that’s not the case, it’s high time you get this sorted. You do not want to see your single account compromised and be racked with regret, both personally and professionally.
When choosing a bank, go for one with anti-fraud systems in place. Mobile banking is a good option since there will be no paper documents lying around. Those documents will be a threat to your business if they fall into the wrong hands.
Keep your computer systems hacker-proof
Never underestimate hackers. They don’t just know what they’re doing. They’re pretty great at it, too. If they zero in on your business, you better be ready.
Protect company data with a robust firewall. Do not let your antivirus software expire. An expired software won’t read new codes. These codes will then penetrate your system and compromise your data.
Again, some vendors can provide you cybersecurity services. Read online testimonials to come up with an informed choice.
Secure all entries to your business
If you need to spend an arm and a leg to buff up your physical location’s security, do so. While most fraudsters rely on technology to carry out their nefarious plans, some still go the traditional route. For example, breaking and entering.
Limit certain areas of your place of business only to specific staff members. Go for key-card systems where your employees’ movements are recorded every time they access doors.
Purchase fraud insurance
For added protection, buy fraud insurance. Yes, that means you’re paying for something intangible. But once you fall prey to a fraud attack, you can breathe a sigh of relief when you have fraud insurance at hand. That means you are covered for whatever financial losses you incurred.
Purchase insurance from a trusted name. Avoid fly-by-night insurance providers. There are many of them online.
Do not let fraudsters get a piece of what you worked hard for. You are in business to make a profit. Not to lose money due to negligence. Just because it never happened before does not mean there’s no way it will happen to you.
Be proactive and do not wait for a fraud incident to occur. Your efforts will not go wasted. In fact, they will be aptly rewarded.