Protecting Your Small Business from Fraud

Businesses have always had to put measures in place to guard against scams, fraud, and theft.  However, with the technological advances that businesses have enjoyed over the last century, criminals’ means for stealing have greatly expanded.  To keep your company safe, you need to be proactive and stay one step ahead of the thieves.  The following six small business fraud protection tips will help you protect your business against the ever-present threat.

1. Stay Aware

The most important tip is also the simplest.  Just being aware that there are potential risks will help you to stay alert and on the look-out for threats that may be lurking.  Once you realize that your small business could be a target of scams and frauds, you will start to notice more suspicious activity.  Being a little bit cynical is not always a bad thing!

2. Train Employees

Business owners cannot be the only ones within the business that is watching out for possible threats.  It is imperative that they bring employees in on the task.  Training employees about common frauds and scams can help make everyone more alert to notice something out of the ordinary.  Employees often deal with the day-to-day processes where problems are first seen so it is important that they can identify suspicious activity.

3. Establish Accountability

Just looking for threats from the outside is not enough.  It is a sad fact, but sometimes fraud can originate inside a business.  Accountability is an important part of limiting the vulnerability of a business to these kinds of attacks.  Requiring two signatures or other authorizations can create a basic level of accountability that guards against problems with employee-initiated fraud.

4. Maintain Secure Environment

The physical environment can be an important element of the security of a business.  No business would ever operate with unlocked doors and cash lying out in the open.  However, there are more subtle lapses that might leave your business open to loss.  Make sure that sensitive papers are properly stored or disposed of and that all computers are password-protected.

5. Embrace Change

Many businesses rely on predictability and routines to keep things going.  Keeping operations the same and having a routine helps workers and customers alike to know what to expect.  Yet it also provides criminals with the ability to formulate a plan.  Changing up the routine sometimes makes it harder for perpetrators of fraud to succeed.  This includes changing passwords regularly.

6. Make Contingencies

Nobody wants to think about loss or fraud.  However, it does happen, and every business should know what to do if something does happen.  Make sure that assets are protected to the degree that they can be.  For example, having backup copies of important documents at another location or on an off-site server can mean the difference between an inconvenience and a disaster.  Every business owner should take the time to consider what kinds of contingencies could be put in place in case they experience fraud or theft.

There will always be criminals who are looking for ways to take advantage of vulnerabilities in a business.  You can’t eliminate the threat entirely, but being smart and prepared can go a long way in protecting your business. In addition to these small business fraud protection tips, you can visit our website for other helpful resources, such as information about our EMV secure debit and credit cards as well as the added protections of CardValet.


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