The Charity Commission for England and Wales, found that insider fraud at charities was aided by the excessive trust and lack of challenge from others (released April, 2018). They then published some case studies from fraud attempts to highlight some of these issues. Of the 20 cases analysed, the absence of appropriate controls was the primary enabling factors. Therefore, it is important to see how you have prevent personal fraud and fraud in your business.
Know who you’re dealing with
In any transaction you conduct, ensure you check with the state or local consumer protection agency to see if the seller/charity/company/organisation is credible. This should be emphasised if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on the website to ensure the contact information legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.
Guard your personal information
Potential crooks may call pretending to be from the companies you do business with may call or email, asking you to verify your personal information. Always check the number and email to ensure this is the correct details and if in doubt, contact the business yourself and ask. Be especially aware if the business you already work with asks for details about your account that they should already have. Only give out personal details and payment details if you are actually purchasing something and know who you are sending it too.
Stay safe online
Do not send sensitive information such as credit card numbers via email as it is not secure. You should also ensure the websites you use to pay online are secure when they ask for you to provide financial or other sensitive information. One clue is to look for the address changing from ‘http’ to ‘https’ or ‘shttp’. Another method is to look for the padlock symbol in the browser bar. Your browser may also show that the information is encrypted or scrambled so no one can intercept and read it.
Review fraud risk and controls
Within the business or organisation, ensure that you are regularly reviewing your risk to fraud and the controls you have in place to counter it. Consider if you’re staff need to go on fraud awareness training to make sure they they are up-to-date with the preventative measures enlisted in your company. As a part of this review, perform periodic privacy checks. This should include internet browser and social media site privacy settings o be sure they match your needs.
Use powerful passwords
Avoid using passwords that something could guess e.g. memorable dates, names, addresses – and even if someone can’t guess it, simple searches will often reveal this information (especially if your accounts do not have good privacy). Therefore, integrate a mix of characters, symbols and numbers to make them harder to guess. Also, don’t use repeat passwords for anything involving sensitive personal information and also change the passwords frequently.
The institutions and companies that you do business with have an obligation to take your protection seriously, implement the highest security standards and immediately detect and alert you to any fraudulent activity on your account. However, you also have the same responsibilities to yourself and your business. Following these simple steps will help keep you fraud free, but if you have any further questions regarding your account privacy and paying companies, contact us and we will help to protect you from fraud.